My Life - Helen Morris

My Life - Helen Morris

This week's Friday Woman is the beautiful Helen Morris, mother of two and founder of gumdrops and the bear, on post-baby body, fears and motherhood.

What would be your dream holiday destination for your family? A villa in Tuscany, Italy appeals. But I would LOVE to visit my family in Sydney, Australia when the kids are a few years older.

Who is your favourite living icon? Anyone who does good (and is kind and funny) is an icon to me. My friend Fritha Vincent is a very special lady who has set up an amazing social business called Secret Pillow.

What is your favourite TV show that is currently on? Modern Family is quite funny and the characters feel close to home. My husband is the wonderfully goofy Phil Dunphy without the 6-pack.

What do you plan on reading? I’ve just started up a book club to force me to read more! Next on my list: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

What book have you read that positively shaped you? E.E. Cummings Complete Poems gave me back my love of literature and something just clicked; I could wrap myself in the words.

What excites you about life right now? Change, constant change. I’ve always amazed how we seem - as a family - to manage to embrace it. I’m also hugely excited about my blog and the new dimension it has brought to my life.

Twitter or Instagram? Twitter – more sociable than beautiful (like me!)

What is your favourite food? Cheese fondue... mmm.

Favourite drink? Ribena or prosecco or hot Nesquik.

Favourite dessert? White chocolate and cardamom truffles <dribble>.

What is your most treasured possession? The life and health of my babies. It’s the only thing I couldn’t live without.

Name five people you would invite to your dream dinner party? Elvis, Mickey Flannigan, Patsy and Eddie (Ab Fab) and Henry VIII. Pass the wine darling!

What would you do if another child was being mean to your child? Surround them with love and reassure them that they are amazing. My mum got round this when I was young by inviting the ‘bully’ to tea; it disarmed her and made her a friend. Quite clever really.

What advice would you give your 14-year-old self? Don’t get drawn into trying to be something you’re not and don’t be mean to anyone, you may meet them in later life. Oh and the gappy teeth will be fixed in six years time!

What is your greatest fear? Anything happening to my family. I’m shuddering even thinking about it.

How do you think of your body after motherhood? Oh! that is a biggie! Five years later and I’ve nearly accepted it. I view it as Pompeii – once glorious, now devastated by forces beyond my control; but still lovely in its own way and admired (by one).

What is your best quote? I had an old boss who was charismatic and seriously quotable. My favourite of his quotes was ‘That sticks out like a poo in a wee shop’.

What are you most proud of - apart from motherhood? Probably surviving and achieving in a very academic school where I felt stupid. When I opened my results I cried for a long time because I hadn’t realised I was capable.

What has motherhood taught you? I am impatient, slightly OCD and do not like loud noise. Sleep is beautiful. Makeup is my saviour. Also, how bloomin fortunate I am; I could never have imagined myself with a tall cheeky boy and a tiny minxy girl and heart full of love.

What does being a mum mean to you? I have made two beautiful (loud) little creatures and it is my privilege to equip them with everything they need to take the world by storm. Or just be very happy.

Describe yourself in three words. Funny. Methodical and thoughtful. (I cheated, my husband gave me those).

What is the hardest part of being a mum? "Mummy". "Mummy". "Mummy why". "Mummy, I want". "Mummy, I need". "Mummy, can I have?" Not having any time to yourself, with no sleep, having to feed and tend to your flock 24/7.

If your life was a song, what would the title be? “Laughs, falls and loves”.

If you had a tattoo where would it be? Urm... I do and it’s shall we say below my bikini line above my left hip (bikini lines in the 90’s were very high!)

Dogs or cats? Because Doug The Cat is near me I’m going to say 'cat'. But I do love dogs (smallish non-smelly ones).

Helen's Blog /Twitter/Facebook/ Instagram /Pinterest.

January 08, 2016 — Yvonne Telford
My Life - Gabrielle Thomas

My Life - Gabrielle Thomas

Mother of three boys and Head of Sales and Events at Nutcracker Agency, Gabby is a no-nonsense, determined and hard working woman. She always has some positive and kind words of wisdom tucked away to encourage other women - especially working mums. Gabby talks to us about Christmas, motherhood and what happiness means to her. 

What is your morning ritual? Coffee... and strong coffee at that!

What time did you wake up this morning? 5am.

What does Christmas mean to you? It means happiness, fun, giving and family.

What is on your Christmas menu? Traditional Christmas dinner... a feast!

How do you plan to spend time with your family during this festive period? A seven night stint at the home where I grew up.

What makes you happy? My family, good health, happiness, work and achieving.

What makes you sad? Syria.

What excites you? Family fun time, holidays, my work and my friends.

What are you most scared of? Small spaces... I'm incredibly claustrophobic.

What book are you reading at the moment? I've just read Aliens Love Panta Claus - does that count???

What is your greatest regret? Not taking school seriously.

What have you learnt from your mum? Pretty much everything. She is an incredible role model and amazing mum to five children. She had a big career and could juggle priorities tremendously.

What is the quality that the people who know you admire the most about you? My positivity.

How do you unwind? I don't... really.

What do you like about your job? The fast pace, the variety, the people and the reward.

What do you admire about yourself? My great organisational skills and dedication to absolutely everything I sign up for.

What is the one piece of wisdom that you have learnt from life? To prioritise.

What piece of advice has worked for you as a working mum? Plan ahead, and be organised.

What is the best thing about being a mum to three boys? There are so many. The boys care about each other and look out for one another. They are loving and cuddly. Negativity doesn't stay around for long. An argument is gone as soon as it arrives.

What does motherhood mean to you? Unconditional love. The responsibility of bringing up my children in the best possible way to give them a great start in life.

What is the best gift you have ever received? Without doubt, my children.

If your life was a song, what would the title be? Blessed.

What is your favourite movie in the last last five years? Vacation - it was so funny, and therefore memorable. Hilarious!

What is your favourite movie of all time? Once.

Your best quotes? Each day comes to each of us with both hands full of opportunities - Helen Keller. And, Life is what you make it.

Gabby is on Linkedin.

December 18, 2015 — Yvonne Telford
My Life - Seun Barber Shopeju

My Life - Seun Barber Shopeju

Seun Barber Shopeju - business woman, dentist, and mum of three beautiful girls - has always been destined for great things. She is one of those people you meet and you see greatness in them. Seun and our editor, Yvonne Telford met at boarding school in Kano, Nigeria. Seun went on to study Dental Surgery at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. After graduating from medical school she worked for the Lagos State Government.

When we asked Seun to tell us about what she has done for herself that she is really proud of, she said, “I was overweight most of my life, with the attendant health and emotional issues. But last year I did something about it, began to eat right, live right and got into shape. I’m really passionate about health, wellness and financial freedom, I help people achieve all three through a fantastic opportunity I discovered. I'm a born again Christian who believes totally in the word of God and Christ's saving grace.”

What is your morning ritual? I wake up between 4am and 5am. Check my phone for messages, and then I get out of bed, pray, and prepare for the day.

What time did you wake up this morning? About 4:45am.

Favourite Disney Character? Rafiki, the native doctor in 'Lion King.' I love his accent.

Best gift you have ever received? After graduation, a car from my Dad.

Best gift you have ever given someone? A washing machine.

What was the thing you wished you knew in secondary school? I wish I knew how to protect myself against bullies.

What is the coolest thing about being a mum? Well, my daughters think I'm the 'best thing since sliced bread'... For real - it's being a role model.

What does motherhood mean to you? It means being a lifeline and a role model. It means always being strong for my children, it means sacrifice and more sacrifice, giving of myself. And it means I get loads of love, hugs, kisses and appreciation in return. Nothing beats that!

Favourite website? foreverliving.com - my business.

What are the three things in your handbag you can’t live without? (a) My pen (I love to write), (b ) A little notepad (for when ideas hit me), (c) My phone (love to chat too).

Favourite lyrics? It Wasn't Easy by Cece Winans.

What is your favourite movie of all time? The Sound of Music.

What is your biggest phobia? Hate small enclosures and tight-fitting clothes.

What is your biggest fear? Not making it to heaven.

What is the last book you read? Go Pro by Eric Worre

How do you unwind? I watch a film or read a book.

What do you admire about yourself? I am decisive, bold, and assertive. I go for what I want and don’t really care what others think of me. Also, I always try to put myself in other people's shoes (empathy).

What advice can you pass on to other mothers? Motherhood is a calling, and it changes your life irreversibly. Give it all you've got, love your children, let them know they mean the world to you, teach them to be independent and strong, teach them to respect others, and let them know you believe in them. Be their biggest cheerleader.

What have you learnt from your children? I've learnt that no two people are never quite the same, and there's no fool proof method of dealing with them. What works for one may not work for the other. I've learnt to be creative and adaptable.

What excites you about life? The power God has given us to change the course of our lives, by the daily decisions we take.

What is the best thing about your job? I love it when patients who came into the clinic in obvious pain and discomfort, leave with smiles on their faces. I love making a positive difference in people's lives.

To find out more about Seun, she can be contacted on her Facebook page.

December 04, 2015 — Yvonne Telford
My Life - Gemma Bonner

My Life - Gemma Bonner

Gemma Bonner, Head of Dance at Sutton Dance Academy and mother –of –two girls, is a gem. She is authentic, energetic and has an infectious smile. Gemma talks to us about guilty pleasures, life lessons and the important role her husband plays in their family.

What time do you usually wake up? My alarm goes off at 6:45am most days, and if it doesn't go off I wake up then anyway! Very frustrating on weekends!

What do you usually have for breakfast? Nutrition is very important to me, and I know how crucial breakfast is. But honestly? Often nothing at all! On a day when I make time, I will have porridge to give me lots of energy for my morning classes!

What is your daily ritual? The only thing consistent in my day is the chaotic run from one thing to the next. I never quite feel organised enough to keep to a set routine - although I do like structure. I do shower every morning regardless of anything though :-)

What is a typical day like in your household? Quite often our eldest creeps into our room around 6:00am and goes back to sleep with us. We wake the little one up around 7:30 - I think she would sleep all day if we let her! It's then the mad dash to eat breakfast - which my husband usually organises - and get the school clothes on. Both children are at different schools so the mornings take some negotiating to get to each school on time. And then I dash to work ready to teach at 9:30. After school is different each day depending on clubs or work schedules, but bedtime for the children is always between 7 and 8pm. Then I get straight into bed too if I can manage it.

What does “me time” involve? Time on my own. I love reorganising cupboards, papers, furniture - but only when no one else is around. I love making things look spick and span. I've never been alone long enough before it's all turned upside down again though.

Favourite dessert? Anything creamy, caramelly and a little bit naughty! Dolce de Leche from Brazil - that's my weakness.

What is your guilty pleasure? Pinterest. I could while away HOURS on Pinterest but always feel guilty for excessive screen time.

What is the last hobby you picked up? I genuinely haven't picked up a new hobby in a while but I'd love to. I love the idea of learning something new and crafty. I've been meaning to try finger-knitting for ages.

Favourite lyrics? I'm not great with favourites. I always change my mind and get inspired by different things at different times. Genuinely can't find anything in my mind for this question - although I am a sucker for a great quote! 'Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly' - that's one that resonates.

Favourite song of all time? Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros. I walked down the aisle to it. It will always be a little bit special.

Favourite musician of all time? Again this changes all the time but at the moment I'm loving anything Folky. The band Coco and the Butterfields is a regular on my playlist.

What is the best thing about your job? There are so many great things about my job. It is just 10 minutes away, it is flexible, I interact with loads of great people and I do what I love every day.

How do you juggle work and family? Sometimes with difficulty. Now that I'm working full time I don't feel that I can be the mum I want to be. But on the other hand, before I went back to work, I was starting to lose my sanity a little! I was struggling with being a mum full time and so at least now, I can have some great moments with my kids and enjoy a different challenge at the same time.

What is your biggest fear? Hmmmm. I'm starting to fear getting old. I've not thought of it much before, but recently seeing elderly people in my life starting to age considerably is frightening. I'm also quite fearful of my kids growing up and not knowing how to do the best for them. The emotions that already rock our household having two girls leave me feeling lost and incapable. I worry that I'm not doing it right. I worry about my husband working in The City and the recent terror attacks on neighbouring countries. But you can fear too much right?

What does motherhood mean to you? My husband plays a big role. Without his support and his hands-on parenting, I would be at quite a loss. He knows that I find parenting hard and he also knows that I need time alone. I struggled with being a mum full time. Now that I’m working, having such a supportive other half helps me to have some great moments with my kids and enjoy a different kind of challenge at the same time.

What has motherhood taught you? Not to judge others, to publicly empathise with others having a tough time and that I'll be tired for the rest of my life.

So far, what has life taught you? Gosh. Everything and nothing at all. I still feel like I know and understand so little. Every single day, I'm challenged in my thinking and my emotions. Every day, I learn something completely new about myself and the world around me. Everyday, I wonder when I will grow up and know everything… but the older I get, the more I realise that I will always feel a little left behind. Technology is starting to baffle me, directions are starting to confuse me, deadlines are starting to panic me, and I am now more hesitant to challenge myself physically incase I hurt myself. All very natural I'm sure… and life is teaching me that nothing is infinite.

What was the last book you read? The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson. I very rarely find time to read these days but this was one I tried one night and couldn't put down. Kept me guessing until the last page. I like a book like that.

What is your favourite book of all time?I'm not great with favourites but The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a book that I've read several times and it never ceases to baffle, amaze and disturb me.


What would you tell your 14 year old self? That mum genuinely is right! Work hard because it really does matter. Put others first and always look out for those who need it.

What is the best advice you were ever given? Someone said to me on my wedding day - 'Stand back and take a moment to look around. It will go fast.' This is true for life too - moments to appreciate and enjoy are important.

What is your biggest regret? So far my biggest regret is the year I struggled with life and didn't really notice my kids. I feel like I missed a year of my youngest daughter's life and spent too much time feeling angry and insular. All life's experiences make you the person you are and so perhaps I am better for it now - but I wish I had enjoyed my tiny daughter more.

What is your proudest achievement? Coming out the other side of the year mentioned in the previous question! I'm sure it wasn't the last tough time I'll ever have but having done it once has equipped me with some armour to use next time I need to go into battle.

What do you hope to achieve next year? Complete life organisation. Hahahahahaha!!

Gemma is on Facebook  and can be contacted at Sutton Dance Academy.

November 20, 2015 — Yvonne Telford
My Life - Carolina Omana Woodall

My Life - Carolina Omana Woodall

Carolina Omana Woodall, a British-Venezuelan, is someone I have admired for a very long time. She is a hardworking mother-of-one, and an Instrumentation and Control Engineer for the Oil and Gas industry. Today she talks about life lessons, tattoos and motherhood. Carolina is one of the mums that inspires me to be a better mum myself by the way she juggles her demanding career with her love and dedication to her family.

How did you start your day? Normally give husband a cuddle. Then rush to get ready for work and wake up my daughter to also get her ready for the day. Weekends are more relaxing and try to fit in a quick run early on Sundays. Today I started by checking the phone to see if my husband had sent me a message - as he is away - followed by a beautiful good morning kiss from my daughter .

Last book you read? The Memory Book, by Rowan Coleman.

What lesson has life taught you?
That if you work hard for your dreams and persevere, then you are doing your bit. The other pieces of the jigsaw will fall into place at the right time.

What would a perfect day be for you? A day when there would not be so many reasons to worry so much about my loved ones far from here.

What would you tell your 14 year old self? To stop worrying too much about exam results and enjoy being a teenager more... and convince my parents to let me go to the cinema or have a proper sleepover with my friends!

Who would be the perfect dinner guest? Friends.

What would you cook? Chicken and rice.

If you were a hip-hop star, what would your stage name be? Uhm, I don’t know... I am not sure I like that style of music and can’t see myself as a star either.

What is the one thing you wish you'd known in secondary school? That it is probably some of the sweetest times in life and to enjoy it with less rush and anxiety for growing up quick, because the hard work and responsibility of university and working life was coming too soon.

Favourite app? WhatsApp, simply because it makes me feel very close to my loved ones who are far far from this old continent.

High heels or flats?
High heels definitely.

Best fashion trend of all time? Not sure I have ever followed a fashion trend, I tend to like what I like regardless of the fashion. I love dresses, all dresses, maybe tunic style.

If you were to have a tattoo what and where would it be? Love this question, I would have a tiny heart on one of my cheeks :-O

Best gift you have you have ever received? This question has kept me thinking for a bit, and can’t find anything ‘material’ really. The best gift is having good health for you and your family. My husband wrote a poem for me, at my request, that was (and still is) a wonderful gift.

Best gift you have given? Forgiveness. I am not good at forgetting certain things.

Favourite songs? November Rain (Guns and Roses), Vivir mi Vida (Marc Anthony), Bailando (Enrique Iglesias).

Favourite lyrics? Vivir mi Vida (Marc Anthony) a Spanish one, I can translate for you if you wish!

What do you hope to be doing next year? Living happily! Enjoying every little second I get with my husband and daughter. And of course hoping for freedom and true democracy for the country where I was born - Venezuela.

Best advice you were ever given? I think the best advice (which I have not always followed) is to ensure that, no matter what your day was like, you go to bed feeling happy and at peace.

What does motherhood mean to you? Becoming a mom was a dream I always had since very young, not that I wanted to be a mom early but I always knew and felt I would be a mom and a great one too. I was very happy during my pregnancy and loved my baby, feeling my baby grow each day and her movements were simply magical. Becoming a mom has shown me that love does exist and that it is endless and truly unconditional.

What rule do you ignore? Holding the knife with the right hand. Can’t do it, find it most uncomfortable and have simply given up.

Describe yourself in three words? Sensitive, caring, worrier.

To contact Carolina, please send me an email at yvonne@realyvonne.com

November 13, 2015 — Yvonne Telford
My Life - Rachel P

My Life - Rachel P

Rachel P, mother of three, civil servant - on fond school memories, Desert Island Discs and her favourite thing to do...

What country do you live in and what do you like about it?

The UK. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, though I would like to visit more places.

What is your daily routine like?

Hectic. Every day is full of work, school, and clubs. We have a timetable on the wall in the kitchen which keeps us in check, without it we would miss things left, right and centre.

What is your favourite colour?

Green. I always chose green when I am playing a game and I like to wear green too.

What are your favourite memories of school?

I absolutely loved school. All of it. I have so many memories of friends, fun and learning.  Sometimes, when the kids talk about their days I am really envious.

What is your favourite food?

Curry. I LOVE spicy food.

What movie made you cry the most?

I cry at the John Lewis adverts! Probably, Beaches.

When were you most scared?

When my son was seriously ill in hospital.

What music will you take on Desert Island?

The Dixie ChicksNot Ready To Make Nice and Nina Simone Feeling Good.

When were you most excited?

Seeing George Michael in concert when I was 16!

What was the last book you read?

I just finished The Language of Flowers - a fabulous book!

What is your favourite thing to do?

Sitting round a table with good food and good friends.

What is your favourite time of the day?

Dusk.

Are you a morning or an evening person?

I have trained myself to be a morning person, but my natural state is night owl.

What is your pet name for your husband?

O.

What have you learnt from mothering?

To let it go… Fight the battles that need fighting. I am still trying to learn patience.

When it is just you and your kids, what do you do?

Watch a movie, play a game... Make a mess!

Do you think women can have it all?

No, I think we have a lot and we can do lots of things well but there are lots of pressures no matter the choices we make. We aren’t as kind to each other as we should be. It’s not a competition; we are all just trying to do our best.

Destiny or freewill?  

Freewill.

What keeps you up at night?

Everything. I sometimes worry that I have nothing to worry about… 

What won’t you leave the house without?

My phone.

What food defined your childhood?

Home cooking - but probably my Nan’s beef suet pudding in particular.

What values has motherhood changed in you?

It really isn’t all about winning.

Who inspires you?

My friends and family. They make me want to be better.

What is your biggest challenge as a mother?

Ensuring I find the time to give my kids the attention they need.

To contact Rachel, please email me directly at yvonne@realyvonne.com

November 06, 2015 — Yvonne Telford
My Life - Monika Buglear

My Life - Monika Buglear

Monika Buglear, a creative soul and mother-of-two, on motherhood, boy bands, and going back to work...

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? If the children wake up before me, then we all cuddle up and love to talk about our dreams (as we do love to meet up in our dreams and go to crazy places… like our favourite place, (Candy Land). Otherwise, a coffee whilst checking on messages, emails and social media.

What is your daily ritual like? Since both my children are at school, I feel like my life revolves round school drop offs and pick ups. It’s been hectic since I started college and doing a part time job - my afternoons aside from homework and cooking dinner, are always spent with the children. We love to read books, cuddle up, play or bake.

What is your favourite food? I love my food and love cooking too! Nothing beats my mum's chicken noodle soup and my husband’s Sunday roast.

Do you have a pet name for your husband? I used to call him Pupak …it’s a term of endearment in Hungarian. Now he has a variety of names from honey to daddy or just simply his name Kris.

What is the coolest thing about you? It’s hard to say; probably my family and friends could give you an answer to that. It’s  probably my outlook on life. I’m quite an easy going, genuine person and love to have a good laugh no matter what life throws at you.

The favourite place you have ever visited? Years ago we went to Rome. I loved it so much I wanted to move there. The history of the place and all that beautiful architecture. But I equally loved the Maldives too and as I recall it, I wanted to move there too.

What is the coolest thing about being a mum? The unconditional love kids can give. The way they look at you, kiss you and hug you. The way they never judge and they are so much fun. I love how they can wrap you up in their happy little bubble… I love to feel their love.

What is the one talent you wished you had? I wish I could play on the piano… I wanted to learn since I was very little and somehow never had the time. But I guess it’s never too late...

What is your favourite music of all time? What music I like depends much on the mood I am in. It can vary from Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder to James Morrison via Pearl Jam and a bit of cheese… anything with a good beat and with soul in it.

What is your favourite band of all time? It’s a well-known fact among my family and friends that I was a big boy band fans… New Kids on the Block. (Yep that was me!)

However, my taste in music has since improved, even though my husband would slightly disagree. It took most of my teenage years to get over them and my unfilled love for a certain member. When they re-united some years ago, we went to see them with my sister and oh my… it was AMAZING. I have never seen so many middle-aged women screaming. Time travelling at its best.

What is the book that made a difference to your life? Again, I have to refer to my teenage years. When I was 16, I read Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, etc. My forever romantic came over me and I suddenly fell in love with England. I became pretty obsessed, and I just knew I had to go and see England myself. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine marrying a Brit and living my happily-ever-after here.

What do you still have from your childhood? A stuffed toy dog called Buksi. I've had it since I was 8 years old - bought it with my own pocket money - we’ve had some amazing adventures together. Now, Buski is happily sitting on my daughter’s bed.

What is your favourite colour? Blue. Mostly dark blue and recently mustard.

Who is your fashion Icon? My fashion icon is a cross between Coco Chanel and Bridget Bardot. Love a French girl's style.

What does motherhood mean to you? It stretches your heart in a way that I never thought was possible. It also means giving up the biggest piece of cake and being just completely happy with that.

What is the lesson your kids have taught you? Apart from patience, and the ability to survive on 4 hours sleep, it’s the love. The unconditional love.

What movie made you cry the most? This is hard, as I cry about anything and everything. There are quite a few, but My Sister’s Keeper and Stepmom really did hit home.

What is the best advice you have ever been given? Never give up and keep smiling.

What advice would you give your 14 year old self? I would give myself a big hug, squeeze my little spotty face and say, "Don't worry so much about what people think of you and be brave to talk."

What is the one rule you ignore? I think deep inside I am a bit of a rebel and would love to ignore rules. But I am never brave enough to do so.

What is the one rule your kids ignore? Jumping up and down on their beds. As much as I want to join in the fun but for the beds sake, we have to say no but they still keep doing it.

Do you believe in freewill or destiny? Both. My freewill decided on many adventures in my life but my fate or destiny led me to places and people.

Monika is on Instagram https://instagram.com/mbuglear/. 

October 30, 2015 — Yvonne Telford
My Life - Jenny Knighting

My Life - Jenny Knighting

Jenny knighting, mother of two, founder of Nutcracker Agency, on favourite things, life, motherhood and her pet name for her husband...

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? If it is before my children check email, social media and the headlines, or if one of my daughter’s wakes me up I gave them a morning cuddle and have a chat with them - which is my favourite way to start the day.

What is your daily ritual like? Busy. Juggling working every day with two small children is busy.  I don’t really have any rituals aside from my morning cup of tea; the world is not quite right without it!

What is your favourite food? I love all different types of food that change with the seasons; my all time favourite is probably my Dad’s tapas or Lee’s meatball dish which always makes me smile.

Do you have a pet name for your husband? Yes. Most gorgeous, most amazing, most wonderful husband in the whole wide world but as that is a little long I tend to call him Lee.

What is the coolest thing about you? My positivity.

The favourite place you have ever visited? It is hard to narrow it down as I have been fortunate enough to visit different, interesting and beautiful places but as I have got older I really think it isn’t about “where” but the “who” you are with that makes a place a favourite place.

What is the coolest thing about being a mum? My bond with my children, nobody makes me laugh in the same way they do and nothing could have prepared me for the way I feel about them or our special bond.

What is the one talent you wished you had? Being able to sing.

What is your favourite music of all time? I like a wide variety of music but anything with a good beat will get my foot tapping and nothing can lift my spirits like Pachabel in D minor or a bit of cheese.

What is the book that made a difference to your life? Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

What do you still have from your childhood? Outside of memories and relationships, I have a stuffed frog that my Gran gave me when I was 6 that has always sat next to my bed and means a lot to me.

What is your favourite colour? Intense blues like turquoise, peacock blue etc.

Who is your fashion Icon? I don’t have one, Icon in the broader sense I have a few - Nelson Mandela is my ultimate icon.

What does motherhood mean to you? Keeping my children safe and giving them wings to fly and fulfil their potential.

What is the lesson your kids have taught you? Patience.

What movie made you cry the most? Philadelphia, I can still remember now not being able to stop crying for a long time after I left the cinema.

What movie made you laugh the hardest? The Wedding Crashers

What is the best advice you have ever been given? Don’t let fear hold you back.

What advice would you give your 14 year old self? Be kind to yourself.

What is the one rule you ignore? I honestly can’t think of one.

What is the one rule your kids ignore? Don’t switch your light back on! (at bedtime)

Do you believe in freewill or destiny? Freewill every time, life is what you make it.

Jenny is on Twitter @JennyKnighting and her website is nutcrackeragency.com

October 23, 2015 — Yvonne Telford