Hello and a very happy Friday!
So, how are your Christmas preparations going? I am so nearly set with gifts but having ‘all-the-bad-foods-of-the-world’ stockpiled hasn’t happened yet. Next week for sure, before the kids break up for the holidays.
Today we have the very beautiful and sweet mum of three, Emma Martin from Amble & Ash on board to share her wisdom.
Emma has one of the prettiest Instagram feeds and an incredible home that I could literally move into tomorrow if she let me! She also enjoys sharing the South of France with her kids as do I, so you know, we’re practically besties!
Thanks Emma (Martin- wow, lots of Emma’s!) for sharing your real moments.
Who are you?
Emma Martin. I’m a blogger and freelance writer and mum of three.
Love it or Loathe it?
I have phases with IG. I love the community and the chat amongst likeminded people. It can be a pretty dark place at times too though. I always try to focus on the positive where possible and it’s the individual people that keep me coming back!
What is your family set up?
I have one husband 😉 and my children are 9, 11 and 13 – Annie, Noah and Eva.
Where you live?
In the Co.Down countryside.
What do you do for work?
I’m self employed and I write for various brands and businesses as well as styling for interiors photo shoots.
Three words that describe your household?
Manic, Loud, Happy.
Do you think you have a good work/life balance?
I like to think I have but then sometimes it all catches up with me and I’m inevitably trying to keep all the plates spinning. The self employed life is one where you have to accept that routine often isn’t possible. I’m constantly squeezing things in where I can, between ballet and school runs, homework and putting a wash on. It’s a constant juggle.
How do you manage to work/run a creative business around your kids?
I try to work while the kids are in school, but sometimes 9-3 won’t always suffice. I don’t have any childcare and am a full time stay at home mum too, so there is a fair bit of answering emails from the car and catching up after they (eventually!) go to bed. They are older now, and have lots of evening clubs and activities, so I’m often burning the midnight oil.
Any hard rules you stick to both in work & family life?
If you are going to do something, then do it wholeheartedly. I think that applies to both work and family really! I never commit to anything that I might begrudge doing, and always want to bring enthusiasm to everything I do. I hope that has rubbed off on the kids a little too.
How do you relax?
I don’t think I’ve properly relaxed since 2003, ha! I love an evening bath though, and a flick through an interiors magazine. I’ve a stack of unread ones that I keep meaning to get to!
Best book you’ve read recently?
I’ve not long finished The Keeper of Lost Things which I really enjoyed. I’m a huge fan of Kate Morton and can’t wait to read The Clockmaker’s Daughter.
Any other books you need to share?
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton is my all time favourite. I’d really recommend!
I’m not a big music person. I’ll always choose silence over noise. 😉
How do you and your husband stay connected?
Lately we’ve been trying to take little breaks away together more regularly. Now that the kids are a bit older, it is easier to escape on our own and we really see the benefit every time we do.
Style – do you feel you have a signature style?
I’m really influenced by French style, both in interiors and my personal style too. In my opinion, French girls do everything perfectly – from undone hair to their beautiful clothes and minimal makeup.
Shops you love?
Zara, Mango and my wish list is a mile long at Sezane!
Did your style change since becoming a mum?
I actually think I honed it a lot more after. There was less time for experimenting and wearing fussy, impractical clothing. I was never glamorous before, but everything just became so much simpler after!
Beauty products you love?
I’m a huge fan of Origins products, and they just seem to work so well on my skin. My holy grail is Becca highlight though. It gives you glow on the days when you definitely don’t have any!
What family meal is guaranteed to be eaten by everyone?
Sunday Roast! Specifically, chicken. My kids are classically fussy eaters and I’m tearing my hair out most evenings. Everyone loves a chicken dinner though!
Rainy day survival tactic?
IKEA! Ha! Andrew absolutely hates it but I bribe him with a milkshake and hot dog at the end. 😉
Any mum hacks you couldn’t live without?
We’ve recently just put a chalkboard up in our kitchen and I’m writing important messages and things for the kids to remember up there. I spent many years racing about organising everyone but I’m trying to give ownership over to them a little more now. So far so good!
What one piece of advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
Don’t be so concerned with what others’ think. Will it matter to you in five years time? If it will then it’s worth worrying over, if not then let it go.