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#LookGood, Blogger, Fashion, Shopping

Hilarious Fashion Moments And Fall Must-Haves From 7 Fashion Moms

September 13, 2016
fashion moms, notjessfashion, jessica wong, blogger, fashion week, new york

It’s that time of the year again, and oh how we love to see our favorite fashion moms strut down the street, getting their picture taken by all of the street style photographers. They tell us that Fashion Week isn’t always glamorous and shared some hilarious moments of their fashion weeks past along with their must-have items for Fall, because we need some inspo for our next shopping trip~


1. Kate Davidson Hudson

Co-founder, Editorialist

  1. Hilarious Moment: I was once trapped in an elevator for over an hour coming out of an Oscar de la Renta show with Andre Leon Talley, and about 6 other editors. The elevator stopped between floors so eventually the FDNY had to break through the ceiling of the elevator and we had to climb up a ladder out the top, through the elevator shaft as the firemen helped us out on to the landing. The worse part was, I was about six months pregnant with my son at the time. As uncomfortable and nerve-wracking as the experience was, the running commentary from a colorful set of editors was pretty amusing to think back on…
  2. Fall Must-Have: Oh- so hard to choose. I’m currently lusting after Proenza Schouler’s whipstitched Hava bag. It’s equal parts cool and coquettish…exactly what I’m in the mood for 😉


2.Nicole Chapoteau

Accessories Editor, Allure

  1. Hilarious Moment: My girls, Rajni Jaques and Shiona Turini, and I made our own Just Hold On, We’re Going Home music video on the streets in Paris and in our hotel room. We were hysterical.
  2. Fall Must-Have: Balenciaga denim jacket.

3. Jessica Wang

Blogger, NotJessFashion

  1.  Hilarious Moment: Not realizing part of my coat was covered in food stains from my daughter and got photographed all over.
  2.  Fall Must-Have: Anything velvet because luxury comfort is the key for this fall.



4. Rebecca Minkoff  

Designer, Rebecca Minkoff

  1. Hilarious Moment: When there was a blizzard on my first ever show and I had to be carried out of the venue because I had on open toe shoes.
  2. Fall Must-Have: Suede!



5. Patricia Chang

Designer and Blogger, Patricia Chang

  1. Hilarious Moment: This is from about 7 years ago! We used to work 40 straight days before a show when I was working as an intern for a fashion house. It was really intense. One day I snapped out of it and played hooky from work to go to a couple shows. It was so nice to just enjoy it from the other side instead of slaving away!
  2. Fall Must-Have: Oh yes! My shoe collaboration with Josefinas is launching this weekend! It’s a must have this fall because sneakers are in and when are cats ever not? The fur ball is faux, embellished with crystals and pearls. They are removable and attach to any pair of laces!

fashion moms, patricia chang, blogger, collaboration, josefinas x patricia chang

via Patricia Chang


6. Charlotte Groeneveld

Blogger, The Fashion Guitar

  1. Hilarious Moment: I remember a Haute Couture week in Paris when I was still breast feeding Stella. So in-between the shows, I was actually pumping in my hotel room… so charming 🙂
  2. Fall Mush Have: Been wearing this Valentino jacket for NYFW

The Fashion Guitar

7. Celine Aagaard

Founder and Editor in Chief,

  1. Hilarious Moment: I don’t know about funniest, but the funnest was at last year’s Diesel party in the apartment. It was insane. It was like attending a private house party with the best music and best people. We danced all night!
  2. Fall Must-Have: That’s tricky. After 3 days at NYFW, there’s so much in my mind. I love hoodies and bomber jackets, so that might be a thing. Style them cool and effortless. I would also say a pair of army boots is a MUST.


Blogger, Fashion, Kids Style, Mini Fashion

The 10 Best Kids’ Street Style Straight From Kindergarten

September 12, 2016

We can’t believe that it’s almost midway through September, the heat is starting to die down (hopefully for good!), and our babes are entering a new school year. We asked you mamas for some serious kids’ style on our IG feed and you delivered! Here are some of our favorite back to school pictures:


1- @mysequinlife

back to school style

Good vibes and Adidas Superstars are the only way these kids roll.


2- @philosophiemama

back to school style

Start of School + Ice Cream = Best Day EVER


3- @whirlybirdwhitney

back to school style

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.


4- @sa_anderson

back to school style

Street style blogger in the making over here.


5- @mamalovenyc

back to school style

“Hey, ma! How do our shoes look at this angle??!”


6- @diklagoren

back to school style

We love when our kids aren’t too cool for us <3


7-  @madisonjorg

back to school style

With this camo, he’s sure going to blend in.


8- @in_dfwfamily

back to school style

“And please say to me, you’ll let me hold your hand”



9- @sarahlovesbellani

back to school style

“Ma, I said no more pictures!” ~secretly loves all of the attention~


10- @madebylon

back to school style

Rollin up to kindergarden in those red kicks tho



Advice, Baby, Balance, Blogger, brooklyn

I Work From Home With A 10 Month Old And Here’s How

September 7, 2016
household mag

Maroon Falsa Blanket 


I moved from Phoenix to Brooklyn while I was pregnant with my son, Owen. At the time, I was working from home as a recruiter, and while the position was great through my pregnancy, I had a creative itch that needed to be scratched. I wanted the creative liberty and freedom of a blog, yet I had no idea where to start. At the same time, I grabbed coffee with Amy Frances, an acquaintance that had also moved to Brooklyn. Here, I shared the idea of this new project and she instantly offered her help with photography as she wanted to build her own portfolio. Just like that, Household Mag was born. It has grown to be a site that encompasses everything from recipes to my personal life and all that is left in between. I even opened a little online shop that holds curated items, which are both inexpensive and made locally. I really want to support my community as it has come to support me!

household magKimono


Keeping my blog and social media real and relatable, I share the highs and lows of being a working mama, including my cathartic moments and meltdowns. Perfection doesn’t exist, so why act like it does! A lot of us juggle motherhood, work, our passion projects, marriage, and taking care of ourselves…if we have time, that is. It’s become an integral part of my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world, no matter how much I may be cracking under pressure and on edge. This passion project has also turned into a source of income, which we need in order to survive in this concrete jungle. As most of you know, living in New York costs a pretty penny and, to be totally honest, we need every last dollar we make to make it happen. So with that being said, here are my tips for how to work at home with a 10 month old.

household magSunday Morning Candle

  1. Start your day with a long checklist. When I wake up I feel like my mind is bouncing all over the place. It’s so helpful for me if I just get all the to dos out of my brain and down on paper or organized into a list on my phone.
  2. Be very selective about the work you take on. There isn’t enough time in my schedule to take on projects I’m not wholeheartedly invested in. I’ve always been a bit of a “Yes Man”, and since becoming a mother I’ve learned the importance of kindly saying “No”.
  3. Work around your little one’s sleep schedule. Plan to get up early, stay up late, and work during nap times.
  4. Meal prep for the week over the weekend. This is something I need to be more consistent with and whenever I do it it’s life altering for the week. I find that if I plan ahead, I actually eat healthier rather than settling for whatever feels easiest to throw together in the moment.
  5. I try to do one small thing just for me weekly. A few things that are my go to’s for me time: yoga, a pedicure, running out for a cup of coffee alone, taking a nap (when Owen is also napping), or grabbing a drink with a friend.
  6. Get out and about with other mamas and kiddos. You’d be surprised how wonderful some adult conversation can be in the mix of taking care of Owen and working from home can be!
  7. Mommy Switch. Once a week take your friends kids so they can get work done, and then find a day where they can do the same for you. I recently started doing this with a mama friend of mine and it’s been so helpful for us both!
  8. Be prepared that not everything will go according to your schedule or plan. Forgive yourself, laugh at yourself, and be easy on yourself. Find time to pause and realize how much you’re actually doing (even when it feels like you’re scrambling). I like to think about the things I’ll remember in 5 or 10 years from now to gain a little perspective – and you better believe that it won’t be that the laundry wasn’t put away, or that I didn’t exercise enough, or that my hair wasn’t always perfect. If I look back and see that I was creating something beautiful I was passionate about while simultaneously connecting with my family I know I will be happy with how my time was spent.
  9. If you’re having to work when your kids are around and awake I find it super helpful to jump in and out of work – 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. It’s really important to me to stay present and active with Owen, and it’s also essential that I get work done. A balance of the two is what’s best for us.
  10. Utilize apps. There are a few apps that make running my business and freelance work so much easier.
    1. Website Management – Squarespace Blog & Squarespace Commerce
    2. Communication – Slack
    3. Notes/Organization – Evernote
    4. Calendar  – Google Cal
    5. Time Management – Harvest
    6. Instagram Scheduling – Planoly

household mag

Cactus Necklace

Photos by Amy Frances

All items can be bought on Household Mag’s new shop.

#LADYBOSS, Blogger, Food, Interviews

We Swoon For Athena Calderone And You Will Too

August 31, 2016
Athena Calderone

We were excited to visit Athena Calderone’s Amagansett home the morning of our photoshoot. Before creating her tantalizing site, EyeSwoon, Athena made a name for herself as an interior designer, creating inviting warm and gorgeous spaces you want to melt into.  Her home did not disappoint. She warmly welcomed us into her home and told us to look around as she finished getting ready. We spotted some delicious concoction on the kitchen table and we think the hostess noticed our oogling, because she offered it to us. Not gonna lie, it was one of the most delicious things we’ve ever eaten and she just casually whipped it up! Her house was thoughtfully put together, yet had such a effortless feel. An easygoing and delightful pair, the mama and her son, Jivan, made our shoot into one of the easiest and most fun ones we’ve done. Can we come hang?? Hope you readers swoon as much as we did…

Athena Calderone

First of all, EyeSwoon is definitely an eye swoon! How did it all start and how did you develop it into what it is today?

EyeSwoon began in the summer of 2011. I was working as an interior designer and I found myself between projects. I felt a lull in creativity and I started EyeSwoon as the answer to that lull. I love making things beautiful – whether it’s my immediate physical environment or the food that I create – and I wanted to share those little sparks of inspiration and see what journeys they would inspire for others. When I’m designing a space, I can always trace the inspiration back to a singular moment or image that gave me the vision for the complete room. The same thing happens with an amazing bite of food. Suddenly I’ll find myself running out to re-create it and add my own twist. Eye-swoon became a way for me to group all those fragmented moments and give them one voice that speaks to all the sides of me, the design-addict, the fashion-lover, the food-obsessed, the mom, the wife. And hopefully it can do the same for people that share those interests and seek out inspiration.

When you launched your site, did you think of it as a business or something you wanted to do for yourself? At what point did it become profitable and how?

I really did not.  I knew I was seeking a platform to voice all of my various passions and that was the true impetus. For a good few years I was blissfully losing money as all of the shoots, and food, and photography, and tablescaping with props was quite costly.  It was not until I began collaborating with brands that I was able to turn my passion project into a business.

Athena Calderone

“You can only look to yourself and what truly makes you happy to find success.  It took me years to figure that out.”

What do you think it takes to launch a successful blog? Any tips for those of us who are trying?

I think you need to have an authentic point of view and be so well versed and excited on that given topic, that you cannot help but share it. I personally struggled to figure out what I was meant to offer this world. I was successful when I decided to do what I naturally loved to do.  I found myself when I embraced all the various creative facets of my life and shared them authentically. Cooking in the kitchen and creating meals is where I’m happiest and where I am most often found since my early 20’s!  I approach design and food in the same way….adding layers and texture, balancing flavors, unexpected elements. This, combined with hosting, is the creative outlet that feeds my soul….it’s a massive piece of who I am. You can only look to yourself and what truly makes you happy to find success.  It took me years to figure that out.

We’ve heard that you have a book in the works. What’s it about?

I am currently working on a seasonal cookbook to be released in Fall 2017 with Abrams.  I want to arm readers with the tools to create delicious and visually stunning meals, by offering swoon-worthy tips and tricks on elevating the presentation of food and insider prep tips I learned from cooking with culinary tastemakers.  I am also expanding on the idea of seasonality. I believe that the way we engage and gather for meals shifts from season to season, as does our tone and palettes. Summer is more light and bright and carefree, where in winter our meals are more intimate, richer with stews and roasts and the tonality is moodier and overall darker.  I want you to flip through the book and see, taste and feel a significant difference from season to season.

Athena Calderone
What’s been the biggest challenge with your book? What have you learned?

This is bigger than anything I’ve ever done.  There is a permanence to a book and that also adds pressure.  I have to remind myself to trust my gut and not second guess myself, which is hard when making such important decisions. It has been my instincts and intuition that have brought me this far so I do need to remind myself of this often throughout this process.  This has been extremely challenging, but it has also been pushing me creatively – and ultimately, that is how we grow.

You seem to be surrounded by creative people. How has this community been important in getting you to where you are now?

My community is everything.  The creative like-minded cast of characters in the food community is unbelievably inspiring and supportive – this is a connectivity I had been craving for quite some time.  We inspire and raise one another up – we learn and we expand together.  Collaboration and meeting new people who hold similar passions have truly been the greatest and most uplifting part of this journey.

Biggest pinch me moment?

Cooking with Jean George was MAJOR!

Athena Calderone-42


What has been your favorite collaboration to date?

I really hold the dinners I did with Cointreau at the highest regard.  I was able to unite my love of food, décor, and entertaining through those dinners.  I love to create beauty more than any one thing and those dinners were absolutely swoony!  Some of my favorite images were captured by Nicole Franzen for Club Monaco.  It is rather epic when a brand gives you the creative freedom to do what you love and capture it, along with being surrounded by a creative group of women.

Fave NYC restaurant?

Lilia, Café Altro Paridiso, Wildair

You and your son seem so close. How do you maintain that as he’s getting older and wants to spend more time with his friends? Any favorite things to do together?

13 is a big year both for him and for myself.  It is certainly challenging and emotional at times as he pulls away, but it is also completely natural for him to crave more independence. His social world is high up on his list these days, but we are always consciously making sure we carve out some family time.  We turn off computers and do not answers emails after 6pm in our home.  We go on a bike rides to Louse Point to watch the sunset on most evenings together as a family. Jivan and I also bake together, which we both love as our intimate time together.

Athena Calderone

You’ve traveled all around the globe. How has this influenced your aesthetic? What’s your favorite trip you’ve been on?

Traveling opened my eyes to new flavors, cultures, food, architecture and design.  My eyes absorbed it all – they were indeed swooning.  I soak it all in when I travel and then come home to experiment in my kitchen with new flavors, foreign ingredients, herbs and spices. Morocco influenced both my flavor profile and design aesthetic, with an appreciation for textiles, texture and patina. I love to bring home trinkets from my journeys and add them to our home.  A home should tell your story, conjure memories – where you have been and where you have adventured – and I certainly continue to build and expand my story through travel.

What’s the best career advice you have ever received?

Don’t compare yourself to others. No one is YOU and that is your greatest power.

How would you describe your philosophy as a mother?

I encourage adventure always, but set boundaries at the same time.  Jivan is fearless and craves the extreme.  He can also be mischievous at times, yet he is innately shy – complex like the rest of us. I encourage him to take risks and embrace who he is by allowing him to be who he is, but all within limit. Those frisky and curious bits of his personality will ultimately make him unique if he knows to celebrate them.
All that said, I used to think I was a fun mom, but now I am told I can be a nag – ugh!  I asked Jivan the other day, “so what can I do to encourage you to share more with me…”  He said, “well you can stop repeating yourself – I usually hear you the first time” hahahaha!!!!  Noted my boy, noted!

Athena Calderone

Photos by Stevi Sesin


Blogger, Editor's Picks

9 Foodie Mamas To Get You Ready For Labor Day

August 29, 2016
foodie mamas

Photo courtesy of  The Brown Paper Bag


Some of us have plans for this holiday weekend, and some of us are going to be throwing something together last minute… Regardless of what you’re doing, we rounded up 9 foodie mamas to get you inspired in the kitchen. From family favorites to tropical dishes, sweet to savory, and mostly simple recipes, or if you don’t feel like cooking something up, there’s always room for a good drink! Yes mamas, we covered all the bases for you! Our stomachs are grumbling just getting this post ready for you all! Let us know what you end up making and how much of a hit it was!


1- @brownpapernutrition

foodie mamas


2- @hipfoodiemom1

foodie mamas



3- @kitchconfidante

foodie mamas


4- @brooklynsupper




5- @spicyperspectiv

foodie mamas


6- @hungryfoodlove

foodie mamas



7- @sproutedkitchen

foodie mamas



8- @cannellevanille

foodie mamas



9- @smittenkitchen

foodie mamas

Advice, Blogger, Writing

3 Blogging Tips From an Ex Editor In Chief

August 26, 2016


Juliette Baxter was a magazine editor and writer for over 15 years. For many of those years, she loathed the onslaught of bloggers stepping on her well-heeled turf and then, just a few months ago, she became a blogger too. Lo and behold, blogging freed up her creative spirit and gifted her with more control over what she wanted to say and when she want to say it. You can read more about her writerly awakening here


blogging tips

While I’m busy throwing myself into the online frenzy, I’ve kept some good ol’ print habits that I will never shake. At a time when over 50,000 blogs are launched a day (yup, I said every day), I think these habits will help me—and you—stand out. I may not be an SEO expert or a Google Analytics whiz, however what I do know is how to weave stories and words into must-reads. Below you will find my 3 rules for writing a successful blog:


Rule No. 1 Don’t always make it about you

I know Oprah is on every one of her magazine covers, but once you flip past her monthly portrait, there’s a community of voices and experts teaching us how to live our best lives. Why not try adding more voices, profiles and experts to your own blog? Seek like-minded bloggers to guest post so you can help boost each other’s website clicks, profile social influencers who will be seriously engaging click bait and feature fitting experts whose social media savvy you can piggyback.

Having said all that, I do believe there are those that can let themselves shine at all times: Any serious expert in their field or industry, an amazing storyteller who toils words that deeply tug at the heart or consistently light up the brain and while I hate to admit it, pretty much any gawd damn celeb, whether they’re a high-profile bachelorette or an Oscar-winning baccalaureate.


Rule No. 2 Never cut and paste

In the print world, this would be called lazy or even plagiarism depending on the situation. So when you see a news clip, stat or fact that has your blood boiling, your heart thumping or your mind reeling, first check that the story is consistent and true across various dependable channels because you really don’t want to sound off on something that isn’t real. Then think about how it makes you feel and how it applies to your life. Next express these thoughts cursing through your veins right through to your keyboard being sure to reference the story that fired you up in the first place. If there’s someone else who feels the same as you do and an expert that can add more facts and context, interview both of them and add their thoughts. And voila—you have a well-informed post to show-off.


Rule No. 3 Think like a magazine art director  

A good magazine page has more than body text to keep a reader interested. You’ll often see a display quote, a sidebar and thoughtfully selected images with informative photo captions. Use these same tricks to break up your running grey matter on any given blog post. Begin with a strong image (or images) and caption it with a witty sound bite or a dependable fact. After the first few sentences, add a stand-out quote or sentence from your post in a display text. Got a lot to say? Break up your thoughts into a bulleted list and if it makes sense, add a slideshow, gallery or a video to bring your thoughts even more alive.  



Juliette Baxter


blogging tips

#SOCIALBOSS, Blogger, Fashion, Interview, Social Media

#SOCIALBOSS Samantha Wennerstrom of Could I Have That? Gives Us Aesthetic Envy

July 14, 2016
Samantha Wennerstrom

Creator of Could I Have That?, Samantha Wennerstrom, has one of the most beautiful blogs we’ve ever seen. Between her mimimal-cool mixed with California-beachy wardrobe and the beautiful magazine-worthy photographs, her blog is sure to give any fashion-lover some clothing envy. Read below as Samantha gives us some insight on how she does it all.

You started Could I Have That? in 2009 and then grew your brand organically, can you talk about some of the methods you used to foster that growth? 

At first it was a very organic growth for me. I was committed to creating regular content five days a week and promoted it each day on all of my social avenues. Pinterest and Instagram were fresh out of the gates at the time and both became great ways to expose my brand to new readers and generate new traffic. Now I pay close attention to analytics for my website and social channels and strategize a bit more as to when and what I am posting.

How has your social presence evolved since 2009? 
Everything in general has become more curated and visually impactful. I now treat my Instagram feed as if it were my blog (visually) and plan each post so that it works together like a quilt.
Samantha Wennerstrom
What are your top three must-dos for social media when building and maintaining a brand? 
Plan ahead; it makes a huge difference to have images waiting in the wings that you know are on-brand. Be thoughtful of your brand with what you post, if it doesn’t match your aesthetic don’t post it. Be personable, if you’re excited about it most likely you’re audience will be too.
We heard you’re really into podcasts. Can you tell us your 4 favorite not-to-miss ones?
Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin, Pardon My French with Garance Dore, The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe and Girlboss.
What are a few things that every business owner should know/do on social media? 
Zero in on what your business/brand represents, in other words, find your voice and tell the story within those lines. Everything should fit into your big picture.
 Samantha Wennerstrom
Your Instagram is very aesthetic. What does the behind the scenes of those images look like? 
Taking more than just one photo, a bit of editing and a few eye rolls from my husband now and then. He still loves me, don’t worry!
You’re launching Could I Have That? Mini this summer, how has getting ready for launch of this new project been different from your launch of Could I Have That? in 2009? 
Way different! Since I started Could I Have That? as a creative outlet it wasn’t much of a launch. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy promoting Could I Have That? Mini and working with brands to help spread the word as well. It’s been a labor of love! And clearly lots of fun when it involves such a cute subject!
Can we expect a social presence from the Mini magazine? How will that be different? 
Yes possibly! We will see!


Do you have any tips for women who want to start a digital magazine and get into the social media space? 
Start with a clear vision. Also, it never hurts to write out a business plan and goal. Start following others that you admire and take note of certain practices you like and don’t like. For digital magazines, I always start with an editorial line up and deadlines. It’s such a big chunk of work that it’s nice to break it up and have a road map while in the process.
Any other ventures up your sleeve? What’re you looking forward to most over the next year? 
A summer travel series in California! I’m so excited to be covering all the different elements (beach, wine country, desert, mountains and city) of one of my favorite places in the world. Everything from what I’m packing and destination guides, to travel tips and family notes.
You’ve worked with a lot of brands. Can you tell us what campaigns have been the most successful and why? 
It’s all about deciding if it’s a natural fit and having creative control. Typically, campaigns that are spread out over a series of months and when they fit the aesthetic of my brand are the ones that do the best. I’ve learned to say no if it doesn’t feel like a good fit, which is hard to do at first but ends up being the greatest strategy in the long run.
Samantha Wennerstrom
Do you have a newsletter? If so, what do you do to make it successful? 
Yes, and currently fine tuning it! I’ve tried to (mentally) put myself on the other side and think about what my readers want to see or get directly in their inbox. The last thing I want to do is bombard them with too much.
Do you have any tips and tricks to make a giveaway successful? Any rules you follow? 
I rarely do giveaways but when I do, I try to make sure it’s something that I have a personal connection to, something that I would be really excited about possibly winning. Then I try to build the excitement with some social mentions ahead of time.
Advice, Blogger, Lifestyle


July 6, 2016

There’s no denying that “mummy blogs” are a dime a dozen, but what makes the select few a success? Have you ever considered to turn your blog into a business? While most mamas start blogging as a visual diary or creative outlet between mashing banana and googling poo color, many hold onto that little pipe dream that it could turn into something more lucrative. We begin to fantasize about working from home- laptop in one hand, baby wipe in the other- running an empire without getting out of our PJs. The ultimate work-life balance, right?!

Well, that was me two and a half years ago. I set out to combine my background in writing and marketing with my love of fashion, style and photography. At the time I couldn’t find many resources that spoke to the type of mum I was- I loved and embraced motherhood, but also placed importance on my sense of self and style. I knew there were so many new-gen mamas out there who felt the same- and that was how NOT SO MUMSY was born.

Since then I have worked with some of the biggest brands in Australia, been invited to travel the world by resorts and airlines,  featured on television, in and on the cover of national magazines and in the last six months I have learnt more than I did working full time as Marketing Manager at a television network. I’m not sharing this because I’m an egotistical wank – it’s very un-Australian to celebrate your own success 😉 I’m sharing because even though these are of course “pinch myself” moments, I always had the belief that I was doing what I was meant to. I knew my blog would be a success. Not so much the monetary or “recognition” side of it- that definitely wasn’t the focus or driving factor, I mean building a community of like minded mamas. That’s how I define my success- because that’s what I set out to achieve. The other stuff is just a by-product.  As long as I’m connecting, evolving, starting conversations, inspiring and being inspired, I am doing what I set out to do. I posted the following quote on my personal Instagram just as I launched NOT SO MUMSY and it still holds so much truth for me.

turn your blog into a business

“When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us.”

I am often asked for advice from those thinking about starting a blog or wanting to take their blog to the next level. So I thought I would share my path and what I have learnt in retrospect. There are thousands of mummy blogs out there, so what makes a select few gain traction?

1. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN | Launching a blog  takes months of preparation. Yes there are logos, layouts and content, but most importantly you need a clear vision of what you are setting out to achieve. What do you want your blog to say? Who do you want to say it to? Find your passion and stick to it.  Don’t worry about what is “trending” – odds are by the time you are up and running the trend will have passed. Don’t start a blog because you want to work from home or think it’s an easy way to make money- it will take months, possibly years of hard work before that happens. And there is no guarantee that it will. Start a blog for the love of what you are doing, if you are happy to continue and never make money then you are on the right path. You’ll be working from 10pm after the kids are in bed and the washing is done, so it needs to be something you love. The reader will only connect with authenticity. So research, find your niche, your tone of voice and point of difference.

2. GET SOCIAL | Blogging is about connecting and there is no better way to start a conversation than social media. Instagram in particular is an essential tool for bloggers, and in many cases is a blog in itself. Get involved in conversations- like, comment, network with brands, mums and other bloggers. This goes the same for your blog. Grow your account organically by being interactive.  Tag in bigger accounts, engage in #followfriday or shout outs- but don’t over do it, and keep it authentic. The best tip for someone starting out on Instagram is COLLABORATE.  I grew my account organically simply by collaborating with brands with a bigger Instagram presence. Product for pictures is a win/win, but make sure you are strategic, not greedy! I see so many accounts doing loop giveaway after giveaway and it looks desperate. Yes the followers might grow, but they are rarely engaged and genuinely interested in what you are doing. That number at the top means nothing without the engagement, and with the new algorithm changes only 20% of your followers will actually see your post, so you need to make it engaging. Snapchat is another way to connect with your audience. I’m obsessed with snap and like it more than Instagram now.

Lastly, don’t compete with others- celebrate them for doing a good job. Build each other up.

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 Remember girls compete, women empower.

3. BE ORIGINAL | Find your own style and your voice. Just as I launched NOT SO MUMSY two other Australian mummy blogs launched around the same time. Both had similar elements to NOT SO MUMSY- just by sheer coincidence. I managed to shuffle  things around a bit at the last minute- I took less of an emphasis on my mama crush profiles and launched with a stronger emphasis on  mama and mini shoots – which, at the time, were very original for an Australian blog. After the boom of the mama and minis (which is fantastic) I expanded my content to be more lifestyle based.  I can’t stress how important it is to be authentic and stay true to yourself. It’s easy to get influenced by what others are doing. Sure get inspiration, but stay in your lane. People can see through copy-cats.  If you see people trying to be like you, take it as a compliment and try a new direction. Always stay one step ahead.

4. SELL YOURSELF | Once you have been established for a while and have gathered momentum and a following,  put together a media kit showcasing your best work. Outline who you are, who your audience is, feature any reviews, collaborations, anecdotes and examples of what makes you stand out from the crowd. This showreel is an invaluable tool to send to brands and agents for awareness and/or potential collaborations. Remember it’s not just about having a lot of followers, you need to be a marketable brand and/or have a unique style to have the quality brands want you to represent them. You need to understand branding, work to briefs and deadlines and the client needs to see results to build a longer term relationship.

5. FIND AN AGENT- Once you have built your brand and have a dedicated following, you will become lucrative for brand collaborations and will probably be approached by an agent. “Influencer agents” are the fastest growing profession- they are popping up everywhere, so do your research and be selective. A good agent will take you to the next level, a bad one will probably do more damage than good. My first agent was all about the quick sale sponsored posts. They didn’t ask if I wanted to work with the client and made no effort to get to know me or my blog. I was getting work, but felt my integrity was compromised. My current management is amazing and I’m so happy to be with them. The benefits of representation is that they know your worth, they know the industry rates, they already have relationships with PR agencies and bigger brands and negotiate on your behalf, freeing you up to get back to creating content.

Having said this, it’s important to use your common sense. If you are approached by a small home based brand, they are not going to have budget so don’t send them to your agent. If you are happy to accepted gifted product for social posts to help out, do that. Most kids brands you see on Instagram don’t have budget. It’s nice to help out when you can, although it can get a little overwhelming. I made that mistake early on because I couldn’t say no and ended up getting completely stressed out. Now I only accept gifted product if I absolutely love it and need it or have the time to help out a smaller brand.

Another or additional way to monetise is to through an affiliate web tool like Commission Factory or Reward Style. This is great for income supplementation, but unless you have a massive following, like over 100k Instagram and 50k monthly blog views, you won’t make as much money as campaigns and sponsored posts booked through your agent.

6. DON’T SELL OUT | Authenticity is the key to your success.  Only work with brands you like and use- no matter how much money or free product they offer you. I have turned down many big paying gigs because I would simply not use or wear the product.  When I feel like it’s getting a little to “business” I always come back to my intentions for starting NOT SO MUMSY and take breaks from the sponsored posts.

Sponsored posts should compliment your blog, not become your blog.

Never forget who helped you on the way up. There are a few small businesses that helped with my growth in the beginning and I would never charge them now.

7. HAVE A LAUGH |  Don’t take yourself too seriously and STAY HUMBLE. “Having lots of followers on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly.” Even though this is not so true anymore as many are making a pretty little packet, remember you aren’t saving the world. Although when you get big enough it’s nice to use your platform to make a difference.;)

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Blogger, Lifestyle, Mother's Day

Your Soul Style: Two Moms and a Baby

May 4, 2016

In honor of Mother’s Day we caught up with heymama member, Jenny Greenstein, wife, mother, and all around good soul, who shares what being a mom is like in her two-mama household. Jenny is a freelance stylist, consultant, style coach and founder of the Your Soul Style blog, which she uses as a platform to empower others to find their OWN rhythm, become their OWN style-makers and be the most beautiful version of themselves (ROCK ON MAMA!).  

Jenny is looking forward to a Mother’s Day of pampering with a massage and some good food, but admits that what she’s most excited about is spending undistracted time with her two girls, daughter Vida and wife Dina. Read below to hear more from this soulful mama as she shares her experience raising a child in a same sex household. #GIRLPOWER.

I recently got super emotional while going through my iPhone and finding a photo which included not one, not two, but three positive pregnancy tests. I was trying to free up space on my camera roll for more photos of my beloved daughter, Vida, but this was one I couldn’t part with. Despite her being nine months old, a flood of familiar feelings came rushing in from that day. Since we are a lesbian couple, it had been close to two years of planning for this moment. There was so much to set-up before we even started the clinical part of the process. When I found out I was pregnant, I remember screaming, crying, and jumping around my apartment like a crazy person. In the truest sense, it felt like a dream come true. Up until then, I was losing hope that motherhood would actually happen. And there was nothing more in this world that I wanted than to become a mama. I craved it so deeply and it occupied every inch of my mind and body. Thankfully, on our sixth round it worked, and the soul we were waiting for found us; she was perfect and worth the wait.


Motherhood has easily been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I like to believe that all mamas feel this way, but with more planning to consider as a gay couple, I think there is naturally an extension of gratitude. It was a long, hard, and taxing process, but I don’t resent it. It was a blessing in disguise and has contributed to my overall experience. I’m not sure I’d be the same type of mother had it come easily. Don’t get me wrong, I face typical challenges that all women do as first time mothers, but the deep-rooted gratitude helps me manage those difficult mama moments. It reminds me to remain selfless, focused, and grounded when I think I’m losing it. It always brings me back to my center. Perhaps that’s one of the benefits of parenting in a same-sex relationship; because it is impossible to follow a traditional, biological path, it requires us to step outside of the knowns. It took a huge investment of time, emotions, physical commitment, money, and resources to make it all happen; we wouldn’t have gone through with it if Vida wasn’t truly and deeply wanted.

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Life with two Moms is the same, but different. While I don’t believe that men and women in modern day society should conform to stereotypical parenting roles, there is cultural defining behind genders. However, the lines are blurrier when it’s two women. Dina and I tried to figure out who would handle what when I was pregnant, but like many parents find – planning ahead of time was useless. You just can’t know until you know, which has been my daily mantra since giving birth. Once Vida was here, we organically fell into our roles; me, the primary caregiver and Dina, the second parent. I sort of predicted that would happen, but we still exhausted the conversation beforehand. Although our current individual responsibilities are more concrete now since I nurse Vida and manage her sleep/nap and eat schedule, there will be constant shifts as she gets older. If there is anything I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that everything changes, and nothing stays the same! A week could go by where Vida is close to sleeping through the night and Dina and I go on and on about how we’ve finally hit our stride, but then the following week she’s up 2-3 times a night for days straight and we’re crying over exhaustion. It often seems there is no escaping the great baby sleep debacle whether you’re two moms, two dads, one dad, one mom, one of each sex, or whatever! We do experience crossover of responsibilities and become territorial about what we each are handling, but I assume that happens in all relationships. Or maybe that’s just par for the course when dealing with two of the same sex?


It gets a little tricky when Vida calls, ‘mama’ since we have no idea if she’s talking to one of us or both of us, but eventually she will understand she has a ‘mommy’ (me) and ‘mama’ (Dina). For now, we both respond. I joke with Dina and tell her that there are too many cooks in the kitchen, but in all seriousness, I do believe that who we are to Vida has everything to do with who we are as individuals (rather than what our gender is). I also believe this is how it should be if you were a man and woman too. Every couple finds their own version of balance, and although we’re not a perfect system (who is?), we have created one that makes sense for our family.


Since I became Vida’s mommy, I’ve crossed over into another side of life. While Vida was the one who arrived earth side, I experienced my own rebirth too. I’m not the same person anymore. A light which I never knew existed was turned on and my purpose here has changed. There are moments when I think about the future and wonder what life will be like growing up with two moms. Both Dina and I have a father and a mother so won’t necessarily be able to relate to Vida’s experience, but that will be integrated into the values we teach her as she evolves, demonstrating that it is our own uniqueness which makes us beautiful, and what makes you different is what makes you, YOU. Being the daughter of two strong, confident, and empowered women is more than I could ever ask for my child. As far as I’m concerned, Vida having two mommies makes her the luckiest girl in the world.



Photos by Sari Wynne @sariwynneruff

Blogger, Fashion, Kids Style, Shopping

#HMPlayDate: An Uptown Story of Two Lifelong Friends

March 23, 2016
Nicole Gonzalez #HMPLAYDATE

Spring has sprung and what a better way to celebrate it than a stroll through the park with your kids in a new spring look. Nicole Gonzalez, of Lillies and Leon, joined her longtime best friend Viviana for a #playdate with flower crown headbands and cherry blossoms. The friends and their little girls wore H&M’s new spring line, filled with frills and boho-chic garments. Check out the line on-line, and in stores now.


HM-Nicole (47 of 63)   HM-Nicole (36 of 63)HM-Nicole (38 of 63) copy HM-Nicole (52 of 63) copy

HM-Nicole (26 of 63) copy

Nicole Gonzalez and baby


1) What do you love most about your friend?

Nicole: She’s incredibly loyal and the most amazing mother to her three girls.

Viviana: Her ability to stop and take a second to capture all the beautiful moments life has to offer; because let’s face it, how many of us value the little details of everyday life.

2) What do you think she appreciates most about you?

Nicole: Our ability to get together at any point and pick up right where we left off.

Viviana: The fact that I am always honest with her, no matter how big or small the situation is, I will always give her an honest response.

3) Her favorite thing about you is?

Nicole: My honesty and our trust in each other.

Viviana: Being able to text me at any time for an on the spot recipe!!

4) Best memory of you and your kids together?

Nicole: The day Viviana came with her daughters to visit me in the hospital when Lucas was born. To see her children hold my baby was a perfect, surreal moment.

Viviana: The best memory of the kids together has to be when we surprised Lucas and picked him up from school one day. He was so happy to see us and the girls were so excited they were able to visit his school.

5) How are you parenting styles different?

Nicole: I actually think we are pretty similar in that we both have similar approaches and are pretty traditional. I think she might have the disciplining thing down to a science and I’m still learning!

Viviana: It all sums up to city life vs the suburbs.  

6) Best piece of parenting advice she’s given you?

Nicole: Patience and how to discipline with love.

Viviana: Telling me not to give up on breastfeeding and encouraging me to keep going even when I felt I couldn’t continue.

7) How would she describe herself in three words?

Nicole: Funny, strong, loving.

Viviana: Funny, classy, trendy.

8) How does she react to her kids tantrums?

Nicole: Viviana has the patience of a saint; she is able to be firm, yet remain incredibly calm.

Viviana: Even if she wanted to scream her head off you would never know, she is always super calm with them and somehow seems to talk them into realizing they made a wrong choice.

9)  Name her favorite tv show? Favorite guilty pleasure tv show?

Nicole: Sex and the City. Any of the Housewives.

Viviana: Sex and the City, Love and Hip Hop.

10) Funniest thing she’s ever done?

Nicole: We have so many hilarious moments that we’ve shared. We’ve been friends for 20 years (crazy!) so we’ve both seen it all.

Viviana: We were at one of the saddest get-togethers imaginable, but you can always count on your bestie for a good laugh! Nicole was pumping and her milk was spilling out everywhere. She peeked out of the bedroom, desperately looking for the first female in the room to come help her. She was soaked!

11)  If you spend a date together with your kids, what would she want

to do most?

Nicole: Take the kids out to explore NYC. We’d go to the Central Park zoo and then eat authentic Chinese food.

Viviana: Have a picnic in Central Park.

12) If your friend could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Nicole: Fiji!

Viviana: Dubai!

13) Most perfect day for your friend  “sans kids”?

Nicole:A day at the spa then out for dinner, dancing, and drink with her girlfriends. A mama can dream!

Viviana: Sleep in, wake up to fresh iced coffee in bed, followed by a lunch date with her closest girlfriends. Return home, take a nap, wake up and get ready for a low key dinner date with the hubs.

14) What’s a guilty pleasure that she wouldn’t want to admit?

Nicole: Lots of wine 😉

Viviana: One word: chocolate! Hahaha!

16) Who is your friend’s style icon?

Nicole: Kate Moss.

Viviana: Audrey Hepburn.

17) If she could be anyone for a day who would it be?

Nicole: Sofia Vergara.

Viviana: Kourtney Kardashian!  


You can see more of Nicole and her family on Instagram and  lilliesandleon.

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Blogger, Fashion, Kids Style

#HMPLAYDATE: Patricia Chang’s Spring Style On The Highline

March 18, 2016
Patricia Chang and friend with their kids

Patricia Chang met up with her best friend, Nancy, and her little girl in the Meatpacking for brunch and fun weekend playdate. The kids popped in a candy shop and explored the Highline, before finishing the day off at the Whitney. Patricia says, “I’ve learned that the best kind of friend to have is one that wants the best for you. Nancy is that friend.” For more on their special friendship, read the little quiz they did below. On this early spring day, the whole team wore H&M’s newest spring collection. Check out the line, in stores now.
Patricia Chang and friend with their kids kids in front of a door Patricia Chang having coffee with a friend Patricia ChangPatricia Chang Patricia Chang Patricia Chang Patricia Chang with her son in front of books Patricia Chang and her sonPatricia Chang on a playdate Patricia Chang and her son Patricia Chang and friend Patricia Chang

To shop these looks head over to an H&M store or shop online at

Patricia wore: dress Her son wore: Sweatshirt  , Jeans
Nancy wore: lace top (similar) Nancy’s daughter wore: top (similar)  sneakers (similar)

1) What do you love most about your friend?

Patricia says about Nancy: Her ability to have a conversation with anybody she meets. I admire how much respect she has for others.

Nancy says about Patricia: She’s so fun to hang out with and talk to – it’s always a good time whether we are just sitting around, chatting at home or going out on the town!

2) What do you think she appreciates most about you?

Patricia says about Nancy: Keeping it real.

Nancy says about Patricia: That I am always here for her to talk to and will always give her my honest advice/feedback.

3) Her favorite thing about you is?

Patricia says about Nancy: I will understand and always be there to listen.

Nancy says about Patricia: Perhaps same as above (#2).

4) Best memory of you and your kids together?

Patricia says about Nancy: The fact that they have met since birth.

Nancy says about Patricia: When we took the kids to Freedom Tower.

5) How are you parenting styles different?

Patricia says about Nancy: By default, Nancy is a working mom, and I am a stay at home mom.

Nancy says about Patricia: Patty is a whole lot more creative and artistic and those qualities manifest in her interaction/play with Chase.

6) Best piece of parenting advice she’s given you?

Patricia says about Nancy: Too many! I love how much she sings to the kids, so I sing more at home.

Nancy says about Patricia: That they’ll be fine!

7) How would she describe herself in three words?

Patricia says about Nancy: Elegant, well rounded, loyal.

Nancy says about Patricia: Creative, lovable, business-savvy!

8) How does she react to her kids tantrums?

Patricia says about Nancy: Haha, she hides her stress well and uses a calm voice.

Nancy says about Patricia: She’s very understanding and loving.

9)  Name her favorite tv show? Favorite guilty pleasure tv show?

Patricia says about Nancy: Oh gosh! I can’t say that I know. We watched an episode of Odd Mom Out together once.

Nancy says about Patricia: The Bachelor and Real Housewives

10) Funniest thing she’s ever done?

Patricia says about Nancy: I don’t think she would want me to repeat it! She has probably said the funniest thing I’ve ever heard a friend say.

Nancy says about Patricia: Back in the day she would ride her scooter every where, even while wearing designer dresses and heels

11)  If you spend a date together with your kids, what would she want to do most?

Patricia says about Nancy: Go eat at Ootoya (a Japanese restaurant) and then go to a playground.

Nancy says about Patricia: Picnic in Central Park.

12) If your friend could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Patricia says about Nancy: Paris. It never gets old for her.

Nancy says about Patricia: Currently, maybe Morocco or Greece.

13) Most perfect day for your friend  “sans kids”?

Patricia says about Nancy: The spa and shopping.

Nancy says about Patricia: Enjoying/exploring the city with her girl friends!

14) What’s a guilty pleasure that she wouldn’t want to admit?

Patricia says about Nancy: Shopping!

Nancy says about Patricia: Bonchon chicken.

15.) If your friend could have one wish what would it be?

Patricia says about Nancy: To go to Paris with her husband on a whim.

Nancy says about Patricia: Being the sweetheart that she is, for her husband, son, sister, parents and closest friends to live happily-ever-after alongside her!

16.) Who is your friend’s style icon?

Patricia says about Nancy: Anyone with elegance.

Nancy says about Patricia: Lena Perminova.

17.) If she could be anyone for a day who would it be?

Patricia says about Nancy: The President.

Nancy says about Patricia: Angelina Jolie or other style icon/celebrity of equal status.

You can follow Patricia’s adventures on

Blogger, Editor's Picks, Fashion, Kids Style

#HMPLAYDATE: Amber Fillerup Is The Best Friend You Wish You Had

March 18, 2016
Amber Fillerup and friends in the park

We met up with Amber Fillerup and her friends in Central Park for a playdate in Central Park (what they call “their backyard”). They threw down a blanket and a bag of toys and snuggled with their newest babies, while the older kids ran free! The whole squad (down to the littlest babe) was looking spring ready, decked out in H&M‘s newest fashion. We did  a sweet little interview with Amber and her friends on how motherhood has brought them closer. Check out their adorable style below.

Amber’s Outfit – TOP // JEANS // NECKLACE // SHOES // Janelle’s Outfit : Jacket // Andrea’s Outfit – Dress // Shoes // Atticus – BLAZER // SHIRT // JEANS+SUSPENDERS // Alfie’s Outfit – Shirt // Shorts // Rosie’s Dress // Jack’s Onesie

Amber Fillerup
Amber Fillerup Amber Fillerup Amber Fillerup in the park with friends Amber Fillerup on slide with Atticus Amber Fillerup and her son boy in the park Amber Fillerup and her friends Amber Fillerup and her son Amber Fillerup on the swing Amber Fillerup and baby Amber Fillerup and friends with kids in the park boy with a ball Amber Fillerup boy with a camera


1) What do you love most about your friend? 

Amber: Janelle is really good at making everyone feel included and loved. She was one of the first people to befriend me in New York City. She goes out of her way to make sure everyone is taken care of.

Janelle: What I love most about Amber is her ability to make you feel comfortable and confident. She is fun and easy to be around. She is the first person to build you up.

2) Best memory of you and your kids together? 

Amber: Our newborns are less than a month apart, so it is fun to see them grow together and hit all of these little milestones at the same time. The first time Rosie and I got to meet little Jack was the obvious favorite. I’m convinced that every newborn needs a newborn bestie.

Janelle: My favorite memory was the first time we had our babies together. I felt so supported by her throughout pregnancy that seeing the babies together and talking about our experience with birth and our newborns meant a lot to me.

3) How are your parenting styles different? 

Amber: Jack is still only 3 months so it is hard to say at this point, but I think we are similar in that Janelle is super relaxed and go-with-the-flow – she doesn’t worry about your kid making a mess in her house or being wild. I am kind of the same way and it is nice to be around other moms who dont get stressed about messes or craziness

Janelle: I am such a new mom. It’s only been 3 months since my son was born. I am still developing a “parenting style.” We’ve talked a lot about schedules and I haven’t quite committed myself to one. I need to!

4) Best piece of parenting advice she’s given you? 

Amber: I text Janelle for basically everything haha! She was a doula so I asked her for TONS of pregnancy advice – she basically saved my sanity during pregnancy. Janelle also has done preschool and nannying in the past, so she has tons of fun ideas. She plans all of our mommy play dates and they don’t disappoint.

Janelle: We have a mom chat going with parenting questions, funny mom stories, and other girl stuff. The advice she gives there is always so helpful; but more than anything, I have watched how much she enjoys her kids, and how calm she feels while parenting. Being a mother comes very natural to her.

5) How would she describe herself in three words? 

Amber: Loyal, loving, happy.

Janelle: Adventurous, optimistic, enterprising.

6) How does she react to her kids tantrums? 

Amber: Luckily Jack isn’t at the tantrum age yet 😉

Janelle: She has such happy kids! I haven’t seen a tantrum from either of them. Whenever Rosie or Atticus need something, Amber is always really calm; she talks to them, and she helps solve their problem or need.

7)  Name her favorite tv show? 

Amber: I could be totally wrong, but I do know she loves a good episode of “Saved by the Bell.” Favorite guilty pleasure tv show? “The Bachelor” or “Bachelor in Paradise.”

Janelle: “Breaking Bad.” Favorite guilty pleasure tv show? “Ridiculousness.”

8) Funniest thing she’s ever done? 

Amber: Lol basically EVERYTHING she says in group chat. Janelle is the witty one, who can carry a joke, and always has the best responses.

Janelle: She doesn’t take herself too seriously. We spend a lot of time laughing, while we were pregnant about the “glamour” of pregnancy. I have some funny stories, but I think most of them are of the TMI variety.

9)  If you spend a date together with your kids, what would she want to do most? 

Amber: Probably spend a day with our fun mom group and the babes, just chatting and eating!

Janelle: I think we would both want to take the kids to a beach somewhere warm. Enjoy delicious food and time with the kids, without any other distractions.

10) If your friend could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Amber: She has been SO many places – she is definitely well traveled. Maybe Morocco.

Janelle: Bali.

11) Most perfect day for your friend “sans kids”? 

Amber: Janelle is always the one taking care of everyone else, and making everyone feel good… so definitely a day where is wine and dined on all day.

Janelle: The most perfect day without kids, would be a day of being pampered. You can do almost anything with kids if you don’t mind a slower pace.

12.) If your friend could have one wish what would it be? 

Amber: Watch her mom meet her son.

Janelle: Make every flight 30 minutes long (with no security).

13.) If she could be anyone for a day who would it be? 

Amber: Obviously Taylor because she is our bff and doesn’t know it.

Janelle: Maybe I’m projecting, but I think she would be T-Swift. We have a pretty cool squad, but Taylor is the ultimate girls girl.

To see more of Amber and her friend’s playdate style check out

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