The Little Style Book is a UK website started by London-based entrepreneur, Katherine Elphick… It’s a little bit like the spiritual sister of Sassy Mama in Britain! We sat down and chatted to Katherine about her tips and tricks for balancing motherhood and business. When we spoke to her she was three days over due with her second baby, so we’re going to assume she has popped by now and say congratulations Katherine!
Where you do buy your clothes? How do you stay stylish as a mum?
I am currently heavily pregnant with my second baby (3 days past my due date!) so I have nearly forgotten about my “normal” wardrobe but can’t wait to revisit it. Since becoming a mum I have definitely changed the way I dress. It’s not just a question of a larger dress size, but also what is practical, comfortable and washable! Top of the list are The White Company, GAP, Boden and J Crew (please open a store in the UK!)
How do you save time?
My beauty regime has been pared down considerably since becoming a mummy. It’s now just a quick shower and obligatory two coats of mascara (I don’t leave the house without it – whatever the circumstances!) Luckily, I have never been one for dawdling. Being born and bred in London makes a girl quite punchy, I hate hanging around and can get Alice (my 18 month old daughter) ready and out of the door with minimal fuss and in super quick time.
What are your organizational tricks and tips?
I am not terribly organized, I don’t have systems or files, I just have a very good memory so can (touch wood) always remember where I’ve put something/who I need to call back/when Alice needs to be at toddler group!
What do your kids snack on?
Fruit, fruit and more fruit! I can’t get a vegetable past Alice’s lips for love nor money but she more than makes up for it in the fruit department. Strawberries, apples, blueberries… anything. She is also partial to a Babybel when in more of a dairy mood.
What is your beauty must-have product?
I love OSKIA’s Renaissance Mask, it’s very indulgent. For everyday, I love my Chanel eyeliner and L’Oreal Voluminous mascara – they help define my sleep-deprived eyes which might otherwise be indistinguishable!
How do you stay sane?
Funnily enough by working on The Little Style Book. I know a lot of mums just want to collapse on the sofa once the kids are in bed and I completely empathise. But a few months into motherhood I realised I needed to a bit more in my life then nappies and sterilizers. I love writing, researching and making new contacts through the website, plus the content is obviously very relevant to my current stage of life!
Do you have any tips for keeping the romance alive in your relationship?
At 40 weeks pregnant I’m going to have to cast my mind back…! I think the most important thing once you have had kids is to make time for you as a couple. Go out for dinner whenever you can and leave children with Grandparents when going to weddings/parties etc. And try to have a good couple of hours together once the tots are in bed, even if it’s just a TV supper. It’s all too tempting to run a bath and go straight to bed yourself, but you need some grown-up time too.
Favourite activity with the kids in London?
On a hot Summer’s Day head to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, a great spot to splash about and keep cool. And the Maggie & Rose club in Kensington is brilliant – I highly recommend it if you live close by.
Favourite kid-friendly restaurant in London?
I have recently discovered Jamie’s Italian – Jamie Oliver’s chain of Italian restaurants. They are super baby/child-friendly – they even have a buggy valet service! The food is delicious and thanks to the ambience and buzz the children have enough to entertain them whilst you enjoy your meal.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
This is difficult as what works for some parents might not for others. A few months ago someone recommended Tizzy Hall’s books to me as Alice was developing bad sleeping habits (having been pretty good as a baby). One night of following her advice and we cracked it, she is back to being a 7pm-(nearly )7am girl – so Tizzy is currently my parenting pin-up!
How did you get the inspiration to start The Little Style Book?
I have worked in online fashion and luxury for many years, and so when I first became pregnant I assumed there would be a site that catered for discerning mums who are excited about motherhood but at the same time still enjoy the finer things in life. Sadly I couldn’t find anything. There is a multitude of mother & baby sites, all with their own merits and USPs, but I wanted one a site that gave me information on products, services and travel ideas that catered for stylish mums.
What is life like as a working mum in London?
Pretty stressful! London is a big part of who I am. I was born there and lived there all my life. I never understood why people left in droves as soon as they started havng children. But… I have now become of those people. I love London SO much but it is a hard place to bring up children comfortably. So we have recently taken the plunge and moved out to a village about an hour away, just outside Cambridge. It’s idyllic – very pretty and with lots of fresh air and green fields, but only an hour from the Big Smoke. So I’m now adjusting to life as a working mum in the country, and it’s very sedate by comparison! Thank heavens for the internet….