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Mum's the Word

Momspiration: Carly Burnett

Get to know...

Carly Burnett, Creative Director and Co-Founder of TKEES, the sandal company that's on everyone's radar this Summer. Carly and her kids sit down for a photoshoot with Trish Mennell and talks to us about all things motherhood, finding that elusive work-life balance, and so much more! 

 Q: What Is The Most Rewarding Thing About Being A Mother? Biggest Joys? Biggest Challenges?

The rewards are endless. I'm the luckiest person in the world to have my infectious kids. They make me a better person. They give me purpose. Life is simply better with them in it. I'm continuously mesmerized by how interesting, thoughtful, creative and quirky they are. 

With all the good, naturally comes challenges, but Jesse and I tackle them individually. We have learned not to be reactive, and treat each problem with our kids with patience and understanding, so they can benefit from their mistakes, and not develop anxiety over them. Always a work in progress...


Q: What Have You Learned About Balancing Motherhood With Career?

It's always a work in progress. I know balance is key, but not always perfectly attainable — I'm [only] human! We never really kept our kids at home, even when we travelled for work. We often just took them with us, especially now that they are a bit older. We want them to get a good glimpse into what we do, and all the hard work we put it. It teaches them value, and that you need to work, work, work to get what you want. 

Believe it or not, Jesse and I have not been away from them for more than a week at a time. We can't stand it! In the end, I LOVE to work and I LOVE being a mom, so I make sure that I do both the best I can. My mission is to kick-ass at both of them! I won't settle for anything but.  

Q: How Does Your Family Inspire You? Does It Reflect In Your Business?

Everything I do is for them. I want to impress them every day. What they think and feel has a tremendous effect on me. They have made me a fuller, tougher, more consideration person, and all this plays into work. 

Q: You Work With Your Husband — Do You Find It Difficult? How Do You Separate Work And Personal Life?

This is always the #1 question everyone always asks me when they hear I work with my husband. My answer...it just works! I don't know any other way. It's not always fuzzy bunnies and rainbows, but we always look for solutions when we run into any kind of conflict. We work through it like any other couple, or business partners do. The trust and admiration we have for one another is endless. He's my best friend, my brilliant business partner, killer dad to our kids, and one hell of a cook. Pinch me.

Q: Has Your Personal Style Changed Since You've Become A Mom? 

Not so much. I have always been super casual and into basics, I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. I've always been a tomboy at heart and it shows. The word formal scares me!  


Q: How Did You Come Up With Your Kids Names?

Jensen was named after the racecar driver Jenson Button. Sienna was originally named Senna, after Ayrton Senna, but one of Jesse's younger brothers' first names is Ayrton, so we just added an "I" into her name to make it Sienna. Her middle name is Indy, after the Indy 500. Can you tell my husband likes cars?! Everyone calls her Senny. I don't even know how that happened, but it stuck.

Q: Quote The Funniest/Worst Thing Your Children Have Ever Said

This was a recent one from Sienna...

Sienna: Mommy, my bellybutton has the same name as a car. 

Me: What's that?

Sienna: An Audi! 


Q: Do You Have a Go-To Family Restaurant In Toronto?

Terroni.

 

What's Your Favourite Family Vacation?

St. Barths.

 

Q: How Do You Find Time For Yourself?

Time? What? Honestly, the only real time I have for myself is from 5:30 am - 7:00 am, 6 days a week at the gym. I love it. It's my outlet. 

Q: With The Power And Influence Of Social Media, How Do You Draw The Line About What You Think Is Appropriate To Post Of Your Children? As A Mother Do You Enjoy Or Find It Beneficial To Share Photos And Videos Of Your Family? 

If I could come back as a photographer, I would in another life. I love taking photos and my kids are natural subjects in my universe. I love sharing them with the world in a tasteful way, of course. They're extensions, and better versions of Jesse and I. Why not show it? I won't post pictures just for the sake of posting. It needs to evoke a positive feeling. 

Q: Any Last Words Of Wisdom For Fellow Moms?

Don't read all the books out there on how to be a mom. Trust your instincts and do it your way, and don't compare yourself or your children to others. It's a waste of time and never accurate! 

MOMSPIRATION: EDEN GRINSHPAN

 

Instagram: @edeneats | YouTube: Eden Grinshpan Nivron | Blog: Eden Eats

WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER? BIGGEST JOYS? BIGGEST CHALLENGES? BIGGEST SURPRISES? 



Seeing her happy, smiling, growing. Ido (my husband) and I get overjoyed by what a sweet and loving personality she’s already showing us. I know a lot of parents say this about their kids but Ayv is a real angel. So sweet! 

One of the, biggest challenges for me would have to be the lack of sleep and balancing Ayv and being a good mom with my career. I just started back at work full time and I feel SO guilty leaving her every day. I just want to stay at home with her and look into her eyes, bond, kiss, play. I don’t want to miss a thing, I can’t believe how fast it’s all going.

Another big surprise to me is how daunting feeding a baby can be. The allergy thing gives me anxiety and so many of the pureed vegetables are nasty…I’m like…I know why you don’t want to eat this…it’s gross! 

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BALANCING MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR CAREER? 

That you have to schedule down time with your husband and kids. I love my job and there is so much going on right now but if I don’t schedule the time to be with my fam, I feel so disconnected and I feel like I’ve missed too much.

HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING? ARE YOU COOKING MORE/LESS? (WHEN CAN YOU FIND THE TIME)

Well, I am opening my first restaurant with Esquared Hospitality called DEZ, so I’ve been cooking a lot! To be honest, the only thing I cook at home right now is Ayv’s food since I’m cooking every day in the kitchen.

WHAT FOOD/DISH ARE YOU MOST EXCITED FOR AYV TO TRY?

Pretty much anything with tahini…I’m obsessed and put it on everything.

WHO HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PERSON TO COOK FOR?

All my friends. When I get to spoil my friends and fam it makes me so happy. I’ve been so tired with the baby and the restaurant that I haven’t been cooking at home that much…soon, I will get back into it.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR DAUGHTER'S NAME?

She’s named after my grandfather Abraham, a nickname for Abraham is Avi. We played with Avi and came up with Ayv.

FAVE FAMILY VACATION SO FAR?

Tel-Aviv Israel. My family lives there and so does my husband's.

SUNDAY NIGHT TRADITIONS? IF NOT, FUN FAMILY TRADITIONS?

I grew up having brunch every Sunday and I am going to keep that going in my fam. Gryfes bagels, smoked salmon, my dad’s famous tomato salad, cream cheese, freshy chopped veg and herring.

HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF? WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL GIRL'S NIGHT?

I haven’t really had that much downtime since Ayv was born. I’ve gone for a couple of facials, which have been magical but if I were to go out for a girls night I would say, dinner and drinks all the way.

YOU ARE SUPER HONEST AND OPEN ABOUT MOTHERHOOD ON INSTAGRAM - IS THERE ANYTHING YOU HOLD BACK TO POST OR IS EVERYTHING FAIR GAME?

I definitely like to make light of situations, becoming a mother is intimidating and can be scary at times, since there is so much to learn, but my husband and I always try to just laugh things off. I would say the only things I don’t post would be the days I get frustrated or overwhelmed…and trust me, those happen often.

ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR FELLOW NEW MOMS?

Be kind to yourself, your husband and your kids. Everyone is learning and growing together. Also, try to just laugh off any hard times, there are going to be many to laugh and shake it off, it’s not worth stressing over it in the end.

MOMSPIRATION: LIV JUDD SOYE

Instagram: @livjudd | YouTube: Liv Judd

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER? 

When I stand back and watch these two incredible little humans that my husband and I created. It’s such a bizarre yet incredible feeling.

BIGGEST JOYS?

When they see me across a room and come running with their arms out for a hug. I would love to bottle that feeling.

BIGGEST CHALLENGES?

When I had my first daughter, it took me a very long time to fully understand my new life. I most definitely had postpartum depression — I was in full shock. I was horribly embarrassed about my feelings and felt like a bad mom. I had problems breastfeeding, I felt very isolated. Then tack on a lack of sleep and hormones, and it all does crazy things to your head. I felt like I should only feel joy, like all the other moms I knew. But slowly as sleep came back, I saw light at the end of the newborn baby tunnel. When I had my second baby, I created a mommy group — socializing with other moms living within the same baby world is very important.

BIGGEST SURPRISES?

How much joy they bring and how wonderfully fulfilling it is relive the world again through their eyes.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?

The creativity and the energy. It might sound frivolous, but I love how quickly a single item — either a stiletto or BB cream — can transform the way you look and how you feel about yourself too.

DO YOU FIND YOUR GIRLS ALREADY OBSESSING OVER FASHION? 

YES! They know exactly what they want to wear and when. I can’t believe how much they love getting dressed and picking their clothes.

Pink, glitter, hats and dresses—they are the very definition of girls. I also love that they like dressing like twins and I’m using that to my advantage as it simplifies getting my two fashionistas out the door in the morning!

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR KIDS' NAMES?

We wanted to give them Scandinavian names — my mother lives in Norway, I have citizenship and have lived and worked in Norway. But, I wanted to make sure we could find names that sounds just as good pronounced in English as they do with a Norwegian accent — unfortunately many Scandinavian names pronounced in English are horribly jarring.

We also wanted to give them an English name as well just in case later on they wanted to change their name (I was originally known by my middle name Amber and when I was 10 I changed my name to my first name; I like that Liv was uncommon in Canada).

My 4 year old is named Malin Arabella. The first name is a very common Swedish name, and Arabella is my sister’s name—a name I have always loved. My 2 year old is Vendela Rose. Her first name is a relatively uncommon Scandinavian name and Rose is named after my husband’s Irish aunt, who sadly passed away the day after Vendela was born.

YOU TRAVEL A LOT FOR WORK - WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BALANCING MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR CAREER? 

I love my career and it makes me a happier, healthier and more balanced person. When I’m all of those things, I know I’m a better mother.

HOW DO YOU AVOID "MOM-GUILT"?

I try to be present when I’m home with my girls. When I’m home, I’m really home (and not on my phone, for example. Yes, it happens, I’m human, but I try my best). 

HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF? WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL NIGHT OUT? 

To be honest, my work is time to myself. My husband laughs when he hears this question as he always says I would do my work in my down time too — shopping, researching trends, playing with makeup, learning and reading about the latest beauty launches… I feel exceptionally lucky to work in such a creative and visual environment. An ideal night out would have to be more than one night! It would be an escape somewhere — a beach by the ocean, with hot sunny weather and exotic food. That would be an ideal escape. 

ANY FUN FAMILY TRADITIONS?

I grew up having afternoon tea with my family (my Dad is English). We would talk about our day or school over a cup of tea and some sort of sweet treat (cookie, donut, cake…) — before homework or late-afternoon activities. I hope when my girls are a bit older we will start this tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

ANY MUST-HAVE PRODUCTS YOU RECENTLY DISCOVERED OR CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT?

  1. Concealer: It Cosmetic’s Bye Bye Under Eye in Medium. This stuff covers every sin and does not sit in wrinkles. Its gods gift to moms and all those sleepless nights. I only WISH I had known about this when I had my first daughter. I’m making up for lost time now 
  2. Luminous skin: Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Glow Drops. I like my skin to glow and this is magic in a tube. I use a touch on my cheek bones to highlight or I'll put a drop into my BB cream for all over luminosity.
  3. Mascara: Voluminous Lash Paradise in Black. I get seriously massive lasheswith this in just one swipe. Fully obsessed. I did a YouTube video about this one this mascara is drugstore winner!
  4. Lipstick: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink lipstick in Heroine. I like to wear bold lip colours on TV and this REALLY stays put (as in, an early morning TV wake up call, 3 lattes, a buffet lunch and this will STILL be just as bold as when I first put it on). Plus, it doesn’t dry out my lips the way many matte lipsticks can.

    WHAT ARE YOUR 4 FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS THAT WE NED TO FOLLOW?

    @aniab — Her photographs are STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL. Plus she is a good friend and Canadian (fellow prairie girl).


    @louiseroe — I have followed her TV career for many years and I adore how to she doesn’t take life too seriously.


    @sazan — She is a beauty YouTuber based in LA who has just become pregnant. She has such an upbeat, positive vibe and makes you feel like you are good friends, even though we have never met.

    @evachen212 - Eva is a superstar Instagrammer. Head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, previously EIC at Lucky magazine (hand picked by Anna Wintour), Beauty Director at Teen Vogue, and has two young kids. Her commentary is whip smart and witty and she is in the know about all things fashion and beauty. She is definitely a must follow.

    ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR FELLOW NEW MOMS?

    Sleep eventually comes back! And once it does, there is light at the end of the baby tunnel. But if you want a leg up, read this book: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr Marc Weissbluth. A mom of twins told me about it. The advice is real, incredibly accurate and I followed every word.

    MOMSPIRATION: CAITLIN CRONENBERG

    WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER? BIGGEST JOYS? BIGGEST CHALLENGES? BIGGEST SUPRISES?

    I think the most rewarding thing is seeing Wolfy learn new things and grow, both physically and emotionally. Like now he can crawl into any room and close the door in my face and say “BYE”. It’s so satisfying. Every day there are so many joys. He hugs and kisses and snuggles me so much that I forget how tired I am.

    WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BALANCING MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR CAREER?

    I have learned nothing about balance, but I have somehow managed to do both at the same time. I take Wolfy to work with me, so it is less of a balance and more of a sticky mash-up of motherhood and career. I love having him at work with me because I’m not distracted wondering how he’s doing. It’s the best. Plus, he is having lots of interesting experiences and meeting lots of people. He loves being on set. He charms everyone in the room and keeps the mood light. It’s almost better than having a puppy on set. Almost.

     

     HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD INFLUENCED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY?

    I haven’t really noticed a difference to be honest.

    WHO HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PERSON TO PHOTOGRAPHY (OTHER THAN YOUR SON, OF COURSE) 

    My favourite person to photograph is Sarah Gadon, who, coincidentally, was the first person to tell me about Ani + Wren!

    HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR SONS' NAME? 

    We started calling him Wolfy when I was still pregnant with him. There’s no real story, just that we talked about thousands of names and both thought Wolfgang was a very cool one. It’s classic but not very common, so it was cool without being a made-up name or a name hybrid of some kind. His first name is Charles, so Wolfy is really a nickname. We use both at home, but with his crazy hair he is a pretty serious Wolfy to me.

    QUOTE THE WORST/FUNNIEST THING YOUR CHILD HAS EVER SAID. 

    He doesn’t really talk yet because he is only 15 months, but once when he was up in the night and calling out he said, “Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! Elmo! Dada!” That was pretty memorable.

    SUNDAY NIGHT TRADITION? IF NOT, ANY FUN FAMILY TRADITIONS? 

    Every weekend we have pancake breakfast. Wolfy likes to dip his in a combo of Greek yogurt and maple syrup, and then our cat Mickey stations herself close by and licks his fingers. He giggles. It’s the best.

    HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF? WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL GIRLS' NIGHT? 

    I have had exactly ONE epic “girls’ night” since Wolfy was born and it involved a (possibly illegal) firepit in my backyard and a make your own sundae bar, while Wolfy was upstairs sleeping. That was great. It has been sustaining me since last summer. If I can pee alone once in a day I consider that my “time for myself”.

    WITH THE POWER AND INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA SUCH AS INSTAGRAM, HOW DO YOU DRAW THE LINE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK IS APPROPRIATE TO POST OF YOUR CHILD? AS A MOTHER, DO YOU ENJOY AND/OR FIND IT BENEFICIAL TO SHARE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF YOUR FAMILY ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS? 

    I really don’t know where this line is. I do post some photos and videos online if I feel comfortable with it in my gut. I think this moment in our lives is unlike any other, because obviously sharing about our lives is at an all-time high. I try not to go too crazy with it, but it’s hard to hold back. The world needs to know about this zany little character.

    ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR FELLOW NEW MOMS? 

    Do whatever it takes to keep you both alive.

    Images sourced from @caitcronenberg

    MOMSPIRATION: LANI WEISINGER

     

    WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER? BIGGEST JOYS? BIGGEST CHALLENGES?

    The most rewarding feeling in the world is knowing that my presence makes my baby happy. Seeing that big smile light up when I walk into the room melts my heart. Maybe he's just hungry for my milk, but whatever, I’ll take it.  

    I would have to say time management is one of  my biggest challenges. I’ve always been that person who thinks I can get anywhere in 15 min.  This coupled with getting a baby dressed, in his bucket and out the door... might as well skip the music class all together. But in all seriousness, budgeting my time has been difficult given that I am a working mom while trying to be as active and involved as possible in Xander’s day to day life. Being a mom has taught me that time is precious, and you need to be extra vigilant about organizing your daily routine to ensure that everything is taken care of. I am still trying to figure it out, but isn’t that what this entire mom thing is about?!

    DO YOU FIND YOUR PERSONAL STYLE HAS CHANGED SINCE YOU'VE BECOME A MOM?

    Comfort is key baby!!! If pants don’t have at least 80% spandex I am not putting them on.  Since Xander is the king of spitting up -  his bib game is strong but unfortunately my silk blouses have started to collect dust in my closet.  On my working days, I’ll throw on a great cashmere sweater and a pair of heels on my way out the door. Otherwise I am in a stretchy pair of Mother Jeans (no pun intended) , a clean tee and pair of sneakers. Having a great scarf, a cool  leather jacket, and a nice handbag goes a long way, and tends to distract ppl from the mess that is underneath it all.

    WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BALANCING MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR CAREER? 

    It’s an ongoing balancing act, with a whole lot of guilt being dished at me in every direction. It's definitely a learning process coping with the internal guilt that you’re always going to be missing something. It’s like the worst case of FOMOs that never goes away.  What's worked best for me is delegating time to focus on work and time to focus on being a mom. It’s always going to be challenging, but I just remind myself, that showing Xander that his mom is a hard working female entrepreneur is something he will hopefully respect and admire one day. 

     Also I have an amazing support team around me which really helps.  My husband Marc is an unbelievable father, he's an extremely involved hands on dad who helps out with any task that needs to get done. 

    Not to mention my wonderful superstar parents who are always making the constant effort to call, visit, babysit and provide words of wisdom, which is especially necessary when Marc and I have our bi-weekly parental melt down.


    HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR KIDS' NAMES? 

    Marc came up with it early on in my pregnancy and it just stuck. Figured if we like it 9 months later then it was our "boys name". Also was convinced I was having a girl, so never in a thousand yrs did I think we would use it.  Total side bar, the only other time I've ever heard of the name was on my favourite childhood show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  Xander Harris  #coolname #notsocoolcharacter

    QUOTE THE WORST/FUNNIEST THING YOUR KID HAS EVER DONE.

    Xander once sharted all over me in an airport lounge before boarding a plane to Portugal, so there's that..... 

    FAVE FAMILY VACATION?

    As long as there is sun, a body of water, and some cocktails - we’re good :) I am sure once Xander starts walking our priorities may change slightly. But until then...

     SUNDAY NIGHT TRADITION? IF NOT, ANY FUN FAMILY TRADITIONS?

    Saturday is our family day together, it's the only day of the week that both Marc and myself are off work. It's kind of our "free hall pass" day. The rest of the week Xander is on a tight schedule, so we try to give ourselves 1 day a week to slightly break the rules, and enjoy the day together. Whether it's going out for brunch with friends, or hanging out with his cousins and grandparents, we try to switch it up and do the fun things we've always liked doing.

     HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF? WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL GIRLS' NIGHT?

    I make sure to stay grounded by hanging out with girlfriends. It’s so easy to get caught up in this mommy life, and quite frankly over analyzing every minute detail about your baby can be exhausting and quite boring. I like to turn that part of my brain off a few hours a week and go out and catch up with friends over several 9oz glasses of wine. 

    WITH THE POWER AND INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA SUCH AS INSTAGRAM, WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK IS APPROPRIATE TO POST OF YOUR CHILDREN? AS A MOTHER DO YOU ENJOY AND/OR FIND IT BENEFICIAL TO SHARE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF YOUR FAMILY ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS?

    I think the key is to share, but not over share. This is definitely tricky, bc when do you draw the line?  I always had an open profile on instagram until I had Xander, then I locked that shit up. I also never thought I would be a mom who only posted pics of their baby, but I am guilty as charged. What can I say, he is cuter than me and gets way more likes! #whoiscounting 

    ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR FELLOW NEW MOMS AND/OR MOMS TRYING TO JUGGLE IT ALL?

    Zero judgment, sleep when you can, and treat yourself to the small things.

     

    Also, I think the most important life lesson that I’ve taken away so far from this motherhood gig, is that it’s so important to stay true to who you are. Your life gets flipped upside down when you enter this crazy journey of raising a human. Somehow you need to figure out how the old you meshes with this new super responsible, selfless, version of yourself.  I try to do the small things that still make me feel normal, while trying to balance my new busier lifestyle. 

    BONUS QUESTION - BIGGEST MOM FAIL?

    Overfeeding Xander. I swear he is a bottomless pit and will eat whatever we give him. That being said 2.5 hrs to digest 16oz of milk and a jar of peas before bed time was just not a good idea. Projectile barfing, exorcist style, all over his beautiful neutral nursery :( Needless to say, I fear he will never get to enjoy a cup of pea soup from United Bakers thanks to me, sorry Xan!!

    Momspiration: Rebecca Minkoff

    Rebecca Minkoff - Momspiration

    WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER? BIGGEST JOYS? BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

    Watching my kids grow up and develop into their own little personalities is both exciting and rewarding. Time is always my biggest challenge! Work is demanding of my time so I try to separate my time in the office and my time at home. Once I am home I dedicate that time to my family and try to leave work at the office. I made it a new year’s resolution to stop checking emails in bed, they never stop coming! When I am home I’m with my kids they deserve every ounce of my attention.

    DO YOU FIND YOUR PERSONAL STYLE HAS CHANGED SINCE YOU'VE BECAME A MOM? WHAT WERE YOUR STAPLES THAT YOU ROCKED DURING YOUR PREGNANCIES?

    Leather jackets are always my go to staple piece so that was pretty easy to maintain during my pregnancy. But my style would depend on my mood, sometimes I wanted something flowy and other times I wanted a form fitting dress that showed off my bump. As a mom I think I have come to appreciate functionality but I think I still dress very similarly to the way I dressed in high school. I’ve always had a relaxed, tom-boy style consisting of relaxed tees and ripped jeans that were oversized and slouchy.

    Rebecca Minkoff - Momspiration

    WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE PIECES IN YOUR SPRING COLLECTION?

    Leather jackets are my go to so I love the new Brutus Jacket. It is a more relaxed oversized fit super comfy but edgy. Recently I have been carrying my Unlined Feed Bag and the Renee Saddle Bag, both are just easy they go with everything.

    WHAT WERE YOUR EXPECTATIONS WHEN YOU FIRST LAUNCHED THE REBECCA MINKOFF BRAND? WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BRAND IN 5 YEARS?

    I really wasn’t sure what to expect. When we first launched I never imagined we would be where we are today. In five years I hope that we are solidified in the retail industry as tech innovators. At this moment our retail store expansion is a huge focus that I’m excited about both here in the U.S. and internationally. We also have some very exciting partnerships and initiatives happening over the next year or so as well, but I can’t give too much away just yet! 

    Rebecca Minkoff - Momspiration

    WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FROM SEASON TO SEASON WITH REBECCA MINKOFF? 

    Music is a big part of my life that has influenced my brand aesthetic. It is a constant inspiration across all seasons, the era changes but music is always incorporated. I also find inspiration through my travels, photographers, and people I see and admire. Each collection has its own main inspiration that touches upon a specific person or print I am fascinated with exploring at the time.

    WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BALANCING MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR CAREER?

    It really is all about balance and prioritizing. Also, loving what I do makes all the difference. Even if I’m up until 1am working, it never feels like a sacrifice. My approach to achieving the balance is varied, but I will sometimes opt to come in late to the office so I can have breakfast with my family, or only commit to going to work events 2 or 3 times a week to ensure I am spending as much time as possible with my family, but continuing to grow my business.

     HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR KIDS' NAMES?

    When Luca was born it was between Luca and Nico, but when he arrived I knew right away Luca fit his personality.  When I was pregnant with Bowie, Luca was obsessed with the David Bowie; for about a solid three weeks all we listened to was David Bowie; the name just felt right.

    QUOTE THE WORST/FUNNIEST THING YOUR CHILDREN HAVE EVER SAID.

    I told Luca I was going to Paris and I was so sad to leave him. He is a big Star Wars fan, then he said "Mom it's not like you are going to another planet, jeez."

    Rebecca Minkoff - Momspiration

    FAVE FAMILY VACATION?

    As long as we’re at the beach, all of us our happy!

    SUNDAY NIGHT TRADITION? IF NOT, ANY FUN FAMILY TRADITIONS?

    Relaxing at home with my hubby and kids; quality time with them is everything

    Rebecca Minkoff - Momspiration

    HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF? WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL GIRLS' NIGHT?

    I really enjoy spending time in my kitchen, it’s where I can destress. I like to just hang out, cook and drink good wine.

    WITH THE POWER AND INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA SUCH AS INSTAGRAM, HOW DO YOU DRAW THE LINE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK IS APPROPRIATE TO POST OF YOUR CHILDREN? AS A MOTHER, DO YOU ENJOY AND OR FIND IT BENEFICIAL TO SHARE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF YOUR FAMILY ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS? 

    I like to let people into my life and see what we do not just as a brand but as a family. I try to keep our personal posts goofy, that way it’s lighthearted but genuine. 

    Rebecca Minkoff - Momspiration

     ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR FELLOW NEW MOMS AND/OR MOMS TRYING TO JUGGLE IT ALL?

    Really take the time to be with your family, whatever stress is happening at work try to leave it at the office. Hug your kids, it’s the best cure for stress. As a mother, you have this ability to become an insane multi-tasker; it’s all about taking one thing at a time and attacking what’s in front of you.

    Momspiration - Catriona Smart

     Catriona Smart - Momspiration

    WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER? BIGGEST JOYS? BIGGEST CHALLENGES?

    The most rewarding thing about being a mother is the privilege to know a love so pure it is unlike any other.  That pure love naturally comes with joys that are hard to put into words but can be as simple as waking up to my daughter softly kissing my face saying with the sweetest of voices, ‘I love you, mummy.’  But what’s so interesting about being a mother is that joyful, beautiful moment can take almost the complete opposite direction the very next day with my daughter prying open my eyes with her dagger like fingers while wailing, ‘I hate pyjamas - change me now!’  

    The beauty and the challenges become intertwined and as strange as it may sound, the magic of motherhood is in the mess of it all.

    Catriona Smart - Momspiration

    WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BALANCING MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR CAREER?

    That balance is something you practice in yoga class….  Owning my own businesses and being a single mother means that I work incredibly hard to do my best without a focus on putting things in perfect categories to allow for a life that resembles a balanced one.  I strive for a life full of happiness, success, family and love all jumbled up into one.

    WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR BLOG COCO AND COWE? ANY PARTICULAR FEATURES/STORIES/INTERVIEWS THAT HAVE BEEN A HIGHLIGHT?

    Coco & Cowe is inspired by life and all of the things that make it beautiful.  We are lovers of art, food, photography, literature, fashion and mostly telling stories about people, things and experiences that move us.  My favourite stories are ones that inspire, I especially love to tell stories about women who find a way to live their lives on their own terms and trail blaze for other women.  

    One of my favourite interviews was with photographer/illustrator Garance Dore.  She’s not only effortlessly stylish, her voice is so authentic and she shares from her heart.  Her blog is major #goals.

     Catriona - Momspiration

    DO YOU FIND THAT YOUR PERSONAL STYLE HAS CHANGED SINCE YOU'VE BECOME A MOM?

    I want to say no but yes, it unfortunately has.  I don’t wear heels as much anymore basically because my little girl is fast and I’d like to avoid breaking my ankle…  

    WHERE DID YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DAUGHTER'S NAME?

    I wish it was a romantic story but Harlowe’s dad and I literally bought name books, went through them, made a spreadsheet and it was process of elimination from there.  Her middle name is Lake because her eyes were big and deep blue from when she was born, so that’s a little more thoughtful.

    QUOTE THE WORST/FUNNIEST THING YOUR CHILD HAS EVER SAID.

    She has vehemently resisted cutting her hair until two days ago at a play date when she came up to me in a very loud voice and said: “Mummy, why won’t you cut my hair?  It keeps getting stuck in my bum!”

    GO-TO FAMILY RESTAURANT IN TORONTO?

    Anything that serves pizza.  Seriously.  H will smash an entire one on her own.  From a slice at Pizza Nova to a Margarita at Buca, she loves them all.

    Catriona Smart - Momspiration

    FAVE FAMILY VACATION?

    Harlowe and I recently went with my parents, sister and four of my best friends to Jamaica and stayed in villa very close to the town that I was born.  I’m really close with my family and my friends have been the same since forever so it was like a big family reunion in a place that’s very special to me.

    Catriona Smart - Momspiration

    SUNDAY NIGHT TRADITION? IF NOT, ANY FUN FAMILY TRADITIONS?

    Almost every other Sunday evening Harlowe and I head over to my parents house to have dinner with my sister and brother and his kids.  My mother is an excellent cook so we usually have a feast and the kids just run around like maniacs having the time of their lives.

    HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF? WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL GIRLS' NIGHT?

    My workouts are my daily alone time and I schedule them in advance so I don’t let other things take their spot.  With my girlfriends, (when we can all coordinate our schedules) I love checking out new restaurants, having a great glass of wine and some real conversation.

    WITH THE  POWER AND INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA SUCH AS INSTAGRAM, HOW DO YOU DRAW THE LINE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK IS APPROPRIATE TO POST OF YOUR CHILDREN? AS A MOTHER DO YOU ENJOY AND/OR FIND IT BENEFICIAL TO SHARE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF YOUR FAMILY ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS?

    I have to resist the over-share with pictures of Harlowe.  Though she’s way more popular than me on my feed (lol) I try and use as much discretion as possible and always ask myself - will she murder me when she’s eighteen if I post this?  

    I also like to use Social to share real moments so that people don’t only get a glimpse of the ‘perfect’ stuff, I think that’s super important to share as a mother because the pressure to do it all, have it all, be it all, to everyone and everything is real and I don’t want to be a part of portraying that narrative.

    Catriona Smart - Momspiration

    ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR FELLOW NEW MOMS?

    You’re amazing.  There should be a reward for you, daily.  But because there isn’t I am virtually slow clapping for all of you who are singlehandedly responsible for the perpetuation of our society.  For real.  Motherhood is awesome, and rewarding and incredible, all on its own but it is also fantastically challenging and thankless and can potentially leave you weary - riddled with guilt.  I’m here to say thank you, you’re beautiful and inspiring and special and way more than enough.