One of my favourite things about being a mum/health blogger is that I get to collaborate and network with the most amazing people. I not only love the brands/businesses/products that I collaborate with but I also am lucky enough to gain friendships with many of the business owners.
I recently started chatting with the gorgeous Carissa Heath from @the_comfortmama and have I loved getting to know her a little more. I know you will love her to and gain inspiration from this amazing #girlboss so I asked her if she would be featured in my #behindthelabel feature.
I have lived in my Comfort Mama dresses from the moment I received them in the mail. I alternate between the stripes and the dusty pink look. You can wear these dresses to bed, around the house, to the shops and to school drop of and still look like your nailing the luxe comfortable mamma style. #winning
I style mine with Connies and a nappy bag for outings or slippers and a cup of tea for lounging. They have the press stud buttons for easy access breastfeeding and the material just moves with your bod.
Anyway enough from me raving about this label, here is #behindthelabel with Carrisa Heath from The Comfort Mama
Congratulations on your new business, The Comfort Mama – a modern lounge dress that provides mummas with the ultimate comfort and style. Could you please tell us a little more about what drove you to create the label?
Well there was a few different reasons but the main reason being…. My sister, who has two little humans of her own (one is 5 and the other 2 and a half) suffered terribly for a few years with post-natal depression and all the ugly bits that come alongside this. It was so terrible to watch her go through this and have absolutely no idea how to help her, I felt extremely helpless. So seeing this firsthand has made me extremely passionate about helping other Mums on their journey into motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I love the tiny humans… but let’s be real, they don’t need much! A little food, unconditional love and a place to sleep. The Mamas are the ones that need the love and support to raise these babes!
Whilst I was pregnant last year (2016) with my first little one I searched high and low for comfortable clothing to wear after the birth (or even in hospital), during what I envisioned would be one of the most uncomfortable times I would ever go through. I figured that if I felt comfortable in what I was wearing that it might just help me feel a bit better about… well, everything!
When I couldn’t find anything available in Australia I knew this was my opportunity to create something for Mums. So I set out to design a comfortable nursing-friendly lounge/house dress that could be worn everyday at home, when visitors unexpectedly pop around… or even to the shops for that quick nappy run! To some it might just look like a simple dress but it has been designed with so much more meaning and purpose. I wanted to provide ladies something to wear, from pregnancy, labour, nursing and beyond (instead of the regular pj’s or oversized daggy house clothes) that would make them feel a little bit better about themselves and how they look.
Can you tell us a little more about the woman behind the label The Comfort Mama?
My name is Carissa Heath and I guess you could call me The Comfort Mama! I became a Mum to my lovely little man in December 2016 and what a ride it has been so far!
My husband and I have been married for 4 years and together for 10. We are self-employed and have operated our own businesses for the past 6 years together (never work with your husband….trust me!!!!). We absolutely love running our businesses and working for ourselves and were lucky enough to sell one of our businesses in February last year up in Mackay, North Queensland. To say we were exhausted, tired and completely done was an understatement so the business sale could not have happened at a better time. We had worked ourselves silly and really lost each other in the process. About six weeks later, a trip to Bali plus a little reconnecting time and we had ourselves a lovely little surprise in the form of our son, Hendrix! So we packed up our life in Mackay and moved to the gorgeous Sunshine Coast (paradise on earth!). For the next few months we pretty much did a whole lot of nothing… and it was AMAZING! Just what the doctor ordered!
And along came our son 6 days before Christmas. Let me tell you, we got a whole lot more than we bargained for! We were never really completely into the whole ‘having kids’ thing. That might sound horrible but it was the truth. We loved working for ourselves and having the freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted. Well…. weren’t we wrong. The day Hendrix was born our whole life changed. I changed. My husband completely changed into a person I never thought he would ever be – the most supportive, caring and considerate human when I really needed him the most. I remember sitting in my hospital bed two days after giving birth, crying on the phone to my sister about all the Mums out there that don’t have the support from their partner/family like I do ☹ it breaks my heart and makes me extremely grateful for my situation.
So it was at that point that I definitely knew I wanted to help Mums in some way. I wasn’t 100% sure how I would do it, but I knew that’s where my passion truly lies.
I read on your website that you donate $2 from every garment to cope.com, that is such a lovely idea to support mummas. Such a great corporation to support. Can you tell us a little more about The Centre For Perinatal Excellence and why you choose to support this charity?
This makes my heart smile a lot! It may only be a small contribution at this stage, but I’m so happy that I can donate something to this amazing charity. I actually came across their page on Instagram and had been following them for a few months. I really resonated with their content and loved the information they were putting out there so thought no better fit when deciding on a charity to support.
The Centre For Perinatal Excellence (cope.org.au) provides a great resource for reducing the impacts of emotional and mental health problems in the pre and post natal periods. They work tirelessly to raise awareness and understanding, breaking the stigma that prevents women from identifying and seeking help during pregnancy and that first year following birth.
4. Your garments are currently on pre order when is the release date?
I have released stock of the Elle Rose Dusty Pink and the Sonny Grey/White Stripe which is extremely exciting!
I am using a small run manufacturer in Melbourne who handmakes each dress as to the delay on colours being released ☹ but she is working her butt off, trust me! The remainder of colours will begin to arrive for purchase within the later half of August.
5. What is your favourite way to style your Comfort Mama dress?
Give me my pair of white converse shoes, a dry-shampoo filled top knot in my hair + my chosen TCM dress (side knot is a must) and I am sorted!
I actually cannot believe I am typing the last blog of the Alice In Pregnancyland series. (for now haha) I remember chatting To Tahlia about collaborating with me for the #bumpstyle shoots and now here we are at 37 nearly 38 weeks finishing off the bump series. I have really loved building a friendship with Tahlia from @wyldefolkstudio_ while we did the photoshoots she is such a kind hearted person. I now have a friendship for life with her. Not to mention how blessed I was to collaborate with so many gorgeous labels and maternity brands. throughout the 9 months. A huge thank you to everyone that followed the series and continued to send through such beautiful feedback. Big Love to you all.
The last few weeks I have been on a emotional roller coaster. I have been so excited to meet the little one, I have had mum guilt with my one on one time with Cruzie, I have cried happy tears and I have cried god knows what tears. To me having a good cry really does help me just let it all out, breathe and then let it go. All these new emotions feel like it’s my heart is expanding and I am ready to meet our new little one now.
I finished up work at 36 weeks. Best decision as I was going to work to 37 weeks, the heaviness of nursing and being on my feet got to me a little. So I am so glad to be on maternity leave. It feels so different not having to go to work again.
I have been making the most of my time with Cruzie too. I have been taking him to singing and reading at the library, reading and extra snuggles at night time, park hangs and babycino dates. I am loving being off work with him again.
Everyone has been asking how Cruzie has been? Does he know? I think he knows a change is coming. He won’t let anyone rub my belly but David, he pushes their hand away or pulls my top down. We brought him a little dolly and he has been kissing it, changing its nappy, pushing it around in a pram. It’s so cute to watch. I think he will be a great big brother.
I keep telling myself that I need to slow down as my body is tired, but its true “nesting” is a real thing. I keep thinking of new things to do and clean. I forget to rest and I am on the go all day. Then I have the worse braxton hicks and back ache in the evening. So I should listen to all the advice and just put my feet up. Haha easier said than done though. Plus entertaining my little man. He sleeps well in the afternoon so I should just lay down then and watch some Offspring on tv. Maybe tomorrow? haha.
I went and seen my midwife for a 36 week scan and check up. The cheeky bubbas legs are sitting frog legged but the head is right down there. I keep thinking in my head that the baby will be here early because Cruz came early but I shouldn’t get my hopes up. I discussed my birth plan and what I wanted. My birth plan is to have a natural birth, hopefully not be on the monitor like last time, have a bath or hot shower, use essential oils and just have David in there. David is my rock and he really did help me through the breathing techniques last time. I do still feel anxious about the birth experience and labour but I am just trying not to think about it, what will be will be.
With eating I have been a bit all over the place.
I wake up so hungry and have to eat before I go for a walk. For breakfast I normally have smoothies or protein pancakes. Thats its the I just swap it up between the two.
Then for snacks I have almonds, nuts, apple or a bliss ball. Sipping on so much raspberry leaf tea to ha.
Lunch is lots of greens and a source of protein or a chia sourdough with cheese, figs and cucumber sandwich or the same combo on rice cakes.
I am obsessed with Bolognese at the moment with zoodles (zucchini pasta), I am addicted love it. I also love white fish or salmon with greens for dinner, I have gone off all brown rice and sweet potato probably because my belly already fills so fall at night.
Cravings – organic milk chocolate from Flannerys Health Shop … YUM!!!!
Walking 30-45minutes around the block (filled with hills) but very slowly as I get pelvic pressure. I put my podcast on and enjoy the metime I love it. Makes me feel better. I love doing about 20-40 push ups daily on the kitchen bench and 20 squats on the shower too. About 3 times a week I use my little 2kg weights and do a little arm workout too. If I have having an exhausting day I just don’t exercise at all. Maybe just do a stretch. The last week I have really slowed down, but thats okay, my body needs the rest.
So besides loose boho styles and a few tight comfortable maternity dresses I have been living in maternity leggings and a jumper. Argh so comfy. I do love dressing up the bump, but I feel my wardrobe has become very limited and don’t really want to add to it till the baby is here.
For this #bumpstye shoot I wore a dress I purchased for a hens day a few months back. Its called the FAWN WRAP DRESS and I brought it from the @theselfstyler online. Guess what they just restocked it too. You can buy it HERE. Its perfect to take you through your pregnancy journey and will be great for breastfeeding too. Its not actually a maternity dress but it should be its so comfortable.
Tahlia and I decided for the last bump photoshoot we would find a beautiful spot with long grass (secret location) and invite David and Cruz to come along for some family photos. We had a lovely afternoon watching the sunset and Tahlia came with her family too, so nice. I hope you all enjoy the photos.
When I was pregnant with Cruz I struggled to find activewear for my growing bump and breasts haha. I shopped at a few of my favourite activewear stores and was sad that they didn’t provide for the pregnant mumma. They just offered the “bigger sizes” in the “looser styles” to me. Which was fine in some cases, but not always as sometimes the sizes wouldn’t fit my body shape. For example, to big in the the arms and but, or to tight round the belly, or to tight on the boobs. I felt that feeling comfortable and supported while being active, weaher it be HIIT, yoga or just walking it was an absolute must for me. I felt more motivated to move when I was putting on the activewear that fit correctly.
This time round I decided I was going to treat myself and just go out and get some proper maternity activewear to exercise in. Being a blogger I purchased some pieces for my maternity active wardrobe but I also collaborated with some amazing labels too.
I thought I would put together a list of some of the amazing maternity/breastfeeding active labels and pieces I have worn throughout this pregnancy.
These brands and pieces I have shared are just a few of my favourites. I think it’s fantastic that there is a market out there for staying active during pregnancy. It doesn’t matter what you are doing to move your body, it can be as simple as stretching or walking or as high impact as you like. All our bodies are different. We want the best for our growing bump, so do what you feel is right for your baby and your body.
I have walked every day of my pregnancy, trained at HIIT AUSTRALIA till 21 weeks, did yoga at home on you tube and tried a few pregnancy workout booklets, so I feel I have truly tested the Activewear to its limits. I am currently just walking, light weights and doing yoga at home at 36 weeks and I feel that is more than enough for my body now.
Thank you for reading. I hope you find the list helpful. Let me know your thoughts.
This weeks #showtherealyou feature is the gorgeous founder of “The Fit Mummy Project”, Mrs Kimberley Smith, AKA @kimmyfitsmith. Kimberley provides other mummas with complete wellness and fitness guide, which preaches beauty, fitness, happiness, health and self love. Kimmy is a mumma of two gorgeous girls, her girls also share the same big smile as their mum (it totally infectious).
Kimberley is an absolute goddess, I know you are going to love this interview with her. She certainly inspires me to live a life of simplicity, promote self love and to be at peace with my body. She just radiates positive energy.
Please put your feet up, sip on a cup tea and enjoy this weeks #showtherealyou…
MRS KIMBERLEY SMITH
Favourite hot drink?
I’m obsessed with Pukka Teas at the moment. I have so many favourites. I am loving the Liquorice and Cinnamon blend for a sweet treat after a meal and the Relax Blend to help me unwind at night time.
Actually – what am I saying – I LOVE coffee! I’m trying to cut down at the moment to give my adrenals some much needed rest, but coffee just makes everything more fun!
Can you tell me who the REAL Kimmy Smith is?
Oh gosh! Big question. I am still trying to figure this one out myself. I think that I am pretty authentic – what you see is what you get with me. But in saying that, I have had so many labels over my lifetime, I was a corporate lawyer, I was a professional Netballer (I played netball for the NSW Swifts and was a member of the Australian Diamonds Netball Squad),I was a business owner and most recently I am a Mum. A large part of the last two years for me is trying to strip back those labels and re-discover who I am without having to pigeon hole myself.
I think that the real ‘me’ is the person I am being when I feel happiest. At that is when Ryan and I are together and playing with our girls. I have never felt more myself than when I am with my girls. Being a mother is the most beautiful and challenging thing I have ever done. I have two daughters. Allegra is 4 years old. She is a beautiful little girl who is just so kind and caring. And so mature! She is such a Mum already! She has 10 dolls who are all her ‘children’ and she takes care of them every day. Samara is my youngest who is almost 2. She is just pure cheekiness. I love the spark in her – it’s a real challenge to let her have the freedom she needs to cultivate that spark and at the same time stop her from causing some serious damage – both to herself and to everything we own!
My husband is Ryan (we started dating in high school!! I wanted to go out for 3 months so we would be considered a “serious couple”! 17 years later – I think we are pretty serious!). We were married in 2008 and I just feel so lucky to have him.
So family is super important to me, but there is also this huge part of me that is always asking for more. To me, that ‘more’ is my health and my work.
I need to take care of myself. I am getting better and better at really listening to my body and giving it what it needs. I spent a huge part of my life (I am 34, so I would say I spent close to 32 years) just pushing my body. Demanding that it perform day in and day out. Always asking it to work harder. Now I am at a point where I don’t want to push myself so much anymore. I want to be able to honour my body and live in a more cyclic way. Taking rest when I need it and working hard when I am feeling energised and vibrant. So being healthy and taking care of my health on all levels (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) is a huge part of the ‘real me’.
My work is also a huge part of the ‘real me’. I am so passionate about what I do. Becoming a Mum was the most inspiring and emotional moment of my life. They say that when a baby is born, so too is the mother. And that is what I felt like. The moment Allegra was born, so too was the mother in me. And I have been growing into this role for the last 4 years. I think when Allegra was little, I really tried to pretend that nothing in my life had changed, except for the fact that now I had a baby. So I pushed myself to get my fitness back. I pushed and deprived myself to get my ‘body back’ and I worked myself into the ground trying to prove a point. I wanted to prove to myself more than anyone else that I could still do it all, even with no sleep and even less energy.
When I was pregnant with Samara, I just knew that I didn’t want to treat my body that way again. I didn’t want to feel so depleted. I wanted to stop valuing myself by how much I could ‘do’. I wanted to realise that my own wellbeing was worth prioritising.
So I began to really stop and think about how I really wanted to feel. About the type of life I wanted to create. And about how I could begin to accept the fact that everything about my life had in fact changed.
Initially how I wanted to feel was beautiful, fit and strong. Those three words became the start of the Fit Mummy Project which is my complete online guide to post natal fitness and wellbeing. I wanted to help to show other Mummas that we can create the exact type of life we want for ourselves and for our families. That we shouldn’t try to get our ‘bodies back’, but instead, we should be creating beautiful, fit and strong new bodies.
I wanted to create this community of fit, strong, healthy and happy Mummas that are really taking control of their health and happiness.
Tell me about a day in the life of Kimmy?
No day is really the same for me! So this was my Monday last week which is probably more like a typical day for me.
6:30AM Wake and do my morning routine which I call my 3 M’s.
Meditation. I do a 10-15 minute guided meditation. I love the app Insight Timer as it has so many free guided meditations. So I will chose a morning meditation and listen to that in bed with my headphones in.
Movement. I do around 10-15 minutes of movement. Normally this is a short yoga flow to wake my body up and stretch out and tightness that has accumulated over night.
Motivation. I read a little bit and do a little writing. My morning journalling always includes:
Setting my intention for the day.
Listing my Core Desired Feelings.
Listing 3 things I am grateful for today.
Setting 3 mini-goals for the day.
7:15AM The girls normally wake around this time. So I make them breaky and quickly sneak out and grab a coffee before my husband leaves for work!
7:30 – 9AM Normally the girls play and I just eat my breaky and just try to get the house organised for the day.
9AM Drop Allegra to Kindy. She goes to Kindy two days a week.
9:30AM Mums and Bubs. I train around 6 beautiful Mummies at my house. It’s a bit chaotic, but I think that they really enjoy it. We have around 6 Mummies and sometimes up to 8 babies. I have a baby sitter who comes and minds the babies. I focus on a mix of toning Barre style exercises, strength work and a little hit of fitness at the end of each session.
10:45AM I’ll take Samara to the shops and park and get our groceries for the week and she can have a little play. Maybe a sneaky second coffee.
1PM I have lunch with Samara at home and put her to bed.
1-4PM As soon as I put Samara to bed I do 20 minutes of guided meditation. And then I try and get as much work done as possible during this time! I am pretty disciplined when it comes to my work. I don’t get distracted easily. I listen to brain.fm which is binaural beats that help your brain to be uber efficient. They help me to get into that flow state. If I can achieve the 3 things I set out for myself that day, I will also try to do around 15 minutes of Barre style toning workout.
4PM We walk to pick Leggy up from kindy.
4:30PM The girls and I play. Or sometimes they are happy playing together without me and I do a little reading or have a cup of tea for as long as they are happy playing without me. Which is normally around 4 minutes max!
6:00PM Start getting dinner ready. Do the whole dinner + bath routine.
7:30PM Start getting my and Ryan’s dinner ready. Ryan generally gets home around this time.
8:30PM Samara goes to bed! Exhale! We watch a bit of TV. I am loving Big Little Lies at the moment!
9:30PM Leggy generally falls asleep around this time. I have a cup of tea and do a little night time routine of yin style yoga stretches and rubbing essential oils on my temples and wrists to start to wind down.
10PM Bed. I try to read a bit of my book. I normally get one page done and then I’m fast asleep!
What drove you to create your Instagram account/business @kimmysmithfit?
I guess for all the reasons I mentioned above. But also because, to me, Motherhood is a time of huge change. Our bodies change, our work arrangements change, our relationship with our partners change and often our values change. Many women take the view that amongst all of this change, they should try to feel and pretend like nothing has changed. They should get their body back straight away. They should exercise the same way that they used to, they should have the same values and push themselves to work as hard as they used to and achieve as much as they used to.
I want to help women to understand that this is an incredible time for growth. I want to empower women to begin to step into their strength and femininity. To step into their roles of mothers and begin to create an amazing life. Not try to get their old life back, or their old body back, but to create a beautiful, fit and strong new body and a happy and healthy new life as a family and mother.
What do you think attracts women to your site?
Motherhood is an incredibly demanding time. It is easy to lose our sense of self amongst all the obligation. In some ways those early days of motherhood are like the perfect storm.
We are sleep deprived, our bodies are exhausted from the process of giving birth and growing a whole human. Our bodies also still look around 6 months pregnant which doesn’t do wonder for our self esteem. We have all this change going on around us, we have huge expectations of what motherhood should be like and we have zero time to really reflect on all the changes that have occurred. We also have all this mother guilt seeping into everything we do.
I try to speak really openly and honestly about the difficulties of motherhood but also about the joys of motherhood. It is an amazing time and I feel so special and privileged to be able to raise my girls. Sometimes we feel guilty saying how awesome it is to be a Mum. We feel like we are showing off. But I think it’s great!
When I am writing about a challenge I have faced during my journey as a Mum, I always try to include a takeaway. Something practical that each woman can take away and incorporate into her own life.
At the most basic level, this is often a workout that they can do in their living room or at the local park. A simple series of exercises designed specifically for the post natal body that will help her to feel better about her body, shift some energy and hopefully get into a better mental state.
But I also want to help to open women up to a whole new level of self enquiry. Finding exactly what it is that makes her happy and then having the self-worth to go out and make that happen.
What is your favourite quote or mantra?
I have so many. I am constantly saying little quotes mantras to myself.
I constantly say to myself “I am love” We always have a choice, to act out of love or to act out of fear. Fear sounds really dramatic, but it can be as simple as gossiping about someone because it makes us feel included. It can be as simple as keeping an argument going because we are too ashamed to admit we are wrong. It can be something like not ever taking a break because you are scared of what will happen if you aren’t always ‘doing’. So this helps me to come back to myself and chose to act in a more kind and loving way.
Not that I get it perfect, I often am acting from a place of fear. The work one is a huge one for me!
How important is it to you that you find the time to move your body?
You know what I’m going to say here right!! Super important! Movement is one of the most simple things you can do to feel good. Moving your body, even if just for ten minutes a day can have such a significant impact on your mental health and your emotional health. And if you are after physical results, it really does just take 10 minutes a day of consistent exercise.
Consistency is the key.
I think we have been duped into believing that movement needs to be really complicated or hard core. It doesn’t. The best movement for you is what you enjoy. The Fit Mummy Project and my website seek to take away all the excuses that normally come up for Mums. Lack of time, lack of motivation, not sure what to do, not sure where to start, no equipment, no energy.
Whilst we are recovering from birth (which for most women is generally a 6 month period although we normally only give our bodies 6 weeks!) there are definitely some forms of exercise that aren’t good for our bodies. The postnatal period isn’t a time to prove a point or push our bodies to the extreme. It is a time to honour the incredible job our bodies did to bring a child into this world. That is why I always recommend to see a Women’s Health Physio who can assess your beautifully unique body and help you to learn what exercise will be best for you during that postnatal period.
Can you tell us a little more about The Fit Mummy Project?
The Fit Mummy Project is the complete online guide to post natal fitness and wellbeing. It is broken down into two guides, the Exercise Guide and the Nourish Guide.
The Exercise Guide helps Mums to return to exercise in a safe and positive way. It contains over 50 post natal exercises with step by step instructions as well as over 20 safe and really effective post natal workouts. You can start the workouts from as early as 48 hours after a natural birth and then progress all the way to around 18 months post partum. There is heaps of great info from Women’s Health Physio Lyz Evans on pelvic floor and core repair as well as a lot of great tips on how to return to exercise in a way that is going to energise you rather than exhaust you.
The Nourish Guide is a recipe and wellbeing book rolled into one. It is all about taking really good care of your health in a very simple way. It has over 40 simple healthy recipes that Mums can make really quickly and with pretty basic ingredients. It also has tips for surviving and thriving as a Modern Mum. Little life hacks such as meditation for the modern Mum, dealing with sleep deprivation, how to stop competition with your partner over who is more tired!
The Fit Mummy Project is the Guide that I wanted after I had my girls, and I couldn’t find exactly what I was after.
What advice would you give to other people out there wanting to start a blog/Instagram page?
If you are setting it up to grow into something more than a hobby then I would really recommend being crystal clear on your “why, how and who”.
Why is it important to you to share this message? Why are you so passionate about this topic? How do you want to feel when you are writing and sharing? How do you want others to feel when they are reading your words. Who do you want to read your stuff? Who do you want to touch or inspire with your words?
This will help you to become very clear on the type of messages your share and it will also help you to be authentic and consistent.
I think that starting a blog / instagram page is a really empowering process. It is like starting a micro-business. You can test things out, see what resonates and what doesn’t. You can find your voice and really start to develop your message. The more I write, the clearer I get on exactly what my message is.
Also, I think that it is important to remember that online relationships are just like real relationships. You need to give them time and you need to be respectful.
Oh and one other thing – don’t compare yourself! You can definitely get a lot of inspiration from the people and accounts you admire, you can respect the work that they have done, but if you start constantly comparing yourself you are going to lose all the joy you get out of creating and sharing your work.
What is something you practice every single day?
Yoga and meditation. I do some form of yoga and meditation every single day. I can feel myself becoming more and more the person I have always wanted to be and it because of my yoga and meditation practice. Some days are amazing and I feel such a shift in my happiness and my stress levels. Other days aren’t so good. I spend my whole meditation thinking of things I have to do. But I think it all counts – it all adds up.
What does self love mean to you?
I think it means a lot of things. I think that the precursor to self love is self acceptance. Being able to accept our whole self. The good and the bad. Our light and our shadow. Once we can accept all of ourself, then we can being to really show ourselves the love and respect that we deserve.
To me a few of the things that self loves means include slowing down enough so that I can hear the messages my body is sending me. As women, I believe we have a deep intuition. We know deep down exactly what it is we need, but often, we are so busy achieving and getting things done, that we don’t ever stop and listen. When I slow down, I realise what it is that I truly need right in that moment. Self love is also then hearing those messages and then valuing yourself enough to follow through. So self-love might mean realising that you need rest, and then valuing yourself enough to cancel a night out, or say no to an opportunity so that you can give yourself exactly what you are craving.
Perfect date night with your man?
We don’t get too many date nights! We had a night away by ourselves earlier in the year. It was our first night by ourselves in 3 years, so that was pretty special. I’d do that again for sure! But not too soon, I miss the girls too much! Such a shocker.
Can you share with us a perfect #mumlife moment you have had with your gorgeous girls?
The other day they both refused to have a nap. I was exhausted, so I took them both upstairs and we lay in my bed together and watched Beauty and the Beast. Allegra loves gentle tickles and Samara was tickling her leg. I would have bottled that moment if I could have. Seeing them be kind and loving toward each other just makes me feel like we must be doing something right.
One struggle you would like to share as a mumma with others?
Oh gosh, so many. My biggest struggle was probably finding my sense of self as a Mum. I felt really lost after I had Samara. I think I finally realised that I was a full on Mum. I spent a lot of time really discovering what it was that I needed to feel happy and fulfilled as a woman and as a mother. And then I spent a lot more time trying to find the balance between taking care of myself and taking really good care of my girls.
Day to day the biggest thing I struggle with is being present for them. I am working on putting in place better boundaries so I’m not constantly ‘mashing’.
P.S. Mashing is a term created by Jacqui Lewis in the book Mothers’ Mind Cleanse. It’s an amazing read and when she refers to mashing she means when you try to multi-task but actually you just lack presence and awareness in everything you do.
What did you have for dinner last night?
Chickpea fritters and a super simple salad of rocket, feta, walnuts and avocado. Plus a few little treats! A glass of Rosé and some raw chocolate brownie! Amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing Kimmy! I look forward to what you have in store in the near future. Want to get to know the gorgeous Kimmy a little more?
I am super excited to share with you this weeks #showtherealyou feature, Tahana Lee AKA @talkhealthytome AKA @tahanalee AKA mummy to @achillies.lkc! Seriously people this mumma is a superwoman! Finding time juggle looking after her little man, be a loving partner to her man, train her but off and run 3 Instagram pages and a blog! You go girl! Plus she is seriously the sweetest thing ever! This girl hides nothing… what you see if what you get and that’s what I love about her and I know you will too!
Grab your phone or laptop and put your feet up and enjoy 10minutes with the lovely TAHANA LEE!
Favourite hot drink?
I LOVE myself a JUMBO hazelnut latte. It is my guilty pleasure which I probably have more often than I should.
Can you tell me who the REAL Tahana Lee is?
I’m not sure I even know at the moment.
I know I am passionate, driven and motivated and I thrive off helping other people. I always do more than required and always makes the moments count. I am a hopeless romantic and I’m not afraid to express how I feel. I am strong, mentally and physically and I finally know what I deserve in this life. I’m madly in love with the most incredible man. I LOVE being outdoors and doing things and trying new experiences and visiting different places. I want to be extremely successful and work for myself. I love nothing more than being a mother and my family is my home.
At the moment I am kind of struggling to find who I am outside of being a mum. I love it so much that its all I want to do but at the same time I crave some aspects of me back in my life. I’m so caught up in being a mum I’ve probably lost a few of the qualities I listed above and I need them back, I don’t want to feel vulnerable anymore and worry about doing everything right, I want to feel strong and like I can take on the world again. All that I can do is find balance in this beautiful chaos.
Tell me about a day in the life of Tahana Lee?
As you would know with a little one, no two days are the same! I have been back at work full time for almost four months now so those five days a week are a massive struggle for me leaving the little man. So I will go ahead and tell you our typical weekend as those are the days I love the most.
We wake between 4-5am for the first feed (I say first but more than likely hes up at 2am as well for some night time milk) . After that one we fall back asleep in our bed for a few hours and then wake to Ben’s alarm and then have family cuddles until the last minute when we have to get out of bed to start the day!
We cook breakfast and eat it as a family.
On Saturdays we head for our weekly coffee in Paddington where we more often than not get a little cake or macaron (French bakeries make it hard to resist). Ben then works for most of the day and Achilles and I typically enjoy the day playing, reading and venturing about and there’s usually a visit from the grandparents.
On Sundays we do our weekly grocery shop and occasionally we will get lunch out as a little treat as we rarely eat out as Ben is training to be a body builder so his diet is pretty strict so I like to support him and eat super healthy as well haha.
Before the tedious task of meal prepping, we go to our local park for a nice stroll together and play with Achilles on the slides and swings.
I treasure weekends so much more now I am at work. As much as I wish I could spend all day, every day with our little man.
You are a gorgeous mumma to your son Achilles (who is extremely cute) can you please share a favourite #mumlife moment?
How do I choose but one! Last weekend, we were sitting on the couch together and he just blurts out “book” and then said it another four times whilst looking at his favourite book! I cried with pride. Just seven months old and he loves his books enough for it to be his third word (hey and dad are the other two). You know I took him to the shops that day and got him many more books! Have all of the books! It’s amazing because Ben and his family are such book people (his parents have over 30,000 in their own library at home) so it was extra special to us!
It’s kind of a long story but I will try to keep it short. My teen/ early adult life I struggled with being healthy, it was just never at the top of my priority list, at all and I never bothered to educate myself about what healthy actually meant. In 2012 I changed that and became the real me. The healthy, happy, energized, extroverted, real version of Tahana. Shortly after, I entered an unhealthy relationship which reversed everything I had done.
After a year I realised how unhappy I was and that I was back to the version of Tahana I didn’t like or want to be. I’m always a RIGHT NOW person so I created the account that day! I was originally anonymous on the account as I was still in the relationship and didn’t want them to know. It was my way of getting ME back. It gave me the strength to end that relationship and gave me a platform to share my journey back to healthy, back to me and hold myself accountable! I am SO SO glad I started this account because it is actually how I met Ben, the love of my life!
What do you think attracts women to your site?
You’ll see from my account I’m not shy about sharing quite a lot of my life on social media. I’m pretty raw and don’t bother posing for photos with pretty backgrounds or looking my best, I’m just posting photos of me in the gym, workout videos of me working my ass off, motivational quotes and now of course, photos of my gorgeous son! I also think there are so many women who can relate to struggling to find healthy and I think the fact I shared my struggle with that and the journey to how I found it resonated with some people. Now I’m a new Mum and going through a different struggle all together and I know that seeing other people fighting through the same thing helps me, so I’m hoping I’m helping them too!
What is your favourite quote or mantra?
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!”
I’ve lived by this for so long now and I just love it. I even used it during labour! haha. You HAVE to believe in yourself if you want to achieve your goals. Switch on that posivite thinking way of life and you’ll achieve so much more!
I see you are an active mumma. How often do you find the time to move your body?
These days it is whenever and wherever I can. Pre baby and during pregnancy, there wasn’t a day you wouldn’t find me in the gym lifting heavy weights and breaking a sweat. Post baby and I think I’ve been inside a gym max ten times (not including my PT sessions). I’ve started PT and go two times per week and on the other days I vow to leave the house as soon as I get home from work after feeding Achilles and we go for a walk in the local park where I’ve started recording my little workout sessions I do there! Getting a PT was a big deal for me as I am studying to be one myself as I had vowed to never go to one again after going through so many and never finding one with as much passion as I do for health. Luckily I found an amazing one who even lets me bring Achilles along which is just so incredibly helpful.
I don’t discriminate against any active wear. If it’s active wear, I dig it and I wear it… A LOT. Some of my fave brands are Lorna (of course), Running Bare and good old Nike and Adidas!
Go to healthy recipe?
At the moment, Ben and I are really in to omelettes. 3 eggs, 50g spinach, 50g red capsicum, 50g, onion, 50g tomato et voila, deliciousness! I cannot get enough, I’ve been having them for breakfast every morning and sometimes I’ll double up and have it for dinner as well!
What advice would you give to other people out there wanting to start a blog/Instagram?
Just like I did, just do it! Especially with a health account, it is such an amazing way to hold yourself accountable. You never know where it will take you or who you will meet!
I was so excited and practically jumping for joy when Britney approached me to be part of my #showtherealyou segment. (It took me like 3 weeks to get my shot together and finally write her the email of questions as let’s all face it, looking after a Bub and trying to type emails can be hard!) Britt does exactly that everyday, shows the real Britt across her social media platforms. She is REAL and tells you exactly how it is. I love love that about her!
Britt is a personal trainer, inspiring mums to live an active life. She has first hand experience as she is a mum to gorgeous little Millie. Her Instagram page tells stories of motherhood (my god those photos of Millie are just so damn cute), her own postpartum fitness and wellness journey, motivating quotes, self love, fashion and so much more. Britt is someone that any girl/woman can relate to. I know you will all love her as much as I do. I have met Britt in real life (hahaha) over a Insta bestie catch up, yes she is just as amazing in person!
Sit down, have a cup of tea, put your feet up and enjoy 5 minutes with this amazing woman! Although that 5 minutes may turn into hours googling her blog, watching her snaps (getting clucky because Millie is so cute) and reading all her inspiring stories like me hahaha. Can you tell myself and my followers why you started @fashionable_fitmum? How did the name come about?
The name is simply just a combo of what I wanted my page to be about fashion (mainly bub fashion these days), fitness & mum life.
To be honest Im not 100% happy with the name anymore as I feel that “fit mum” can turn people away because they are worried all they will see is gym posts and my page is more directed towards maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle while living a busy life.
Why did you start your Instagram page?
I started my Instagram page to help inspire other Mums to start living more active and healthy – I wanted to show them that it is possible to be a new mum and still find time to care for themselves and the importance of doing so. From there it has really developed in to sharing real and honest stories about motherhood from the good to the bad and everything in between.
I have found through sharing my battles with motherhood, anxiety, depression & body issues and talking about self love I have been able to connect with , help and inspire so many more women than I ever thought possible already and my journey has only just begun! It is amazing and refreshing to see how much people respond to you being real and honest instead of painting a picture of a “perfect” life
I also wanted to give realistic, correct and safe expectations and information regarding postnatal fitness. There is a lot of info out there but a lot of it is also incorrect, unrealistic and unsafe for new mums when they are returning to fitness after giving birth . A womans body has been a lot during pregnancy and birth and it is so important that exercise is done at the right pace and safely to ensure no long term damage.
You have a beautiful little girl “Millie” What are you loving about #mumlife?
That’s a tough one! I think for me the best thing about motherhood is how it has changed my perspective on life. I used to suffer very bad from anxiety and body issues but since having my daughter I feel like I know who I am as a person and I am happy and confident with the person I am today. I also love that she has shown me a love that I never thought possible and has brought so much happiness and positivity in my life.
On a day to day basis I love the little thing about being a Mum like going for a walk with her in the pram, playing in the park and meeting so many like-minded beautiful Mothers (like yourself) who I can now call friends.
Proud mumma moment?
There are so many proud moments like her first smile, her first laugh, when she started crawling or when I saw her swim alone underwater for the first time but nothing beats the first time I held her in my arms – I was so proud to call her mine.
Mumma melt down moment? I know I have defiantly had a few?
Millie was an excellent sleeper from birth – she was sleeping 10-12 hours everynight from 8 weeks old but in the last couple of months that has changed and now she rarely if ever sleeps through . I am really struggling to deal with the lack of sleep and getting her in to a routine where she sleeps through so Im finding I am a lot more impatient and tired during the day and I forget EVERYTHING.
What is your idea of a great night out with your girls?
My idea of a great night is cocktails, wine and tapas at bar. No where too noisy where we can chat and laugh together – BABY FREE! You’re a personal trainer, how important is it to you to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
I have worked in the fitness industry for a long time now so a healthy lifestyle is not just a lifestyle choice but is my career and I believe that you should always practice what you preach.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the most important thing to me – not only for the physical benefits but more so the mental and psychological benefits. As a sufferer of depression and anxiety I fully understand how beneficial being healthy and active is to your overall wellbeing. A healthy lifestyle to me includes not just planned exercise but also healthy nutrition , incidental exercise and looking after my mind through yoga, mediation and counselling.
Also, as I suffer from IBS and food intolerances I need to ensure my diet is balanced and healthy so that I am not constantly unwell.
You are one fit mumma! What type of exercises do you do to keep yourself fit?
Thankyou! I do a combination of different forms of exercise – I try to get to the gym to do weight training 3 times a week, 3-4 F45 sessions ( HIIT style group fitness) plus I walk most days, do some circuits in the park and try to do yoga once a week.
Most weeks I get this all done but other weeks I don’t make it to the gym or I just need a break so I cut back a bit – I believe its all about listening to your body and having a balanced life! What do you think attracts women to your site?
I like to think it’s my honesty and genuine love of helping others. I want women to feel they have the power to do anything they want and I want my site to be a safe place where stories are shared and women can come to feel less alone. I also like to think the information I give regarding health and fitness is understandable, relatable and realistic.
Best moment since starting your page?
The best moments come away from my main feed when followers send me emails and messages saying thankyou for inspiring them to get active or thanking me for being real. One email that really stands out to me and touches my heart,l I received from a followers Mother ( this lady doesn’t even follow my Instagram) – she sent me the most beautiful email, saying as a mother she wanted to thank me for inspiring her daughter and for being so real and genuine. I couldn’t believe that this woman had taken the time to tell her Mum about me and then her mum took the time to send me such a beautiful message.
That type of moment is why I spend so much time creating my blog, Instagram and documenting my journey! For me its not about money, “fame” or anything like that for me it is to connect, help and inspire.
Favourite healthy meal?
I love, love, love baked salmon or snapper with steamed greens and mashed sweet potatoe! Sounds boring but its my go-to favourite. I also love home made Mexican bowls and any kind of seafood. Because of my intolerances I love things that are simple and fresh!
Lorna Jane and Lulu lemon!
Where do you look for daily inspiration?
I look for inspiration from other everyday women (like you) who are busy raising children, working or studying but still managing to live a healthy balanced life!
What is your favourite quote/mantra that you live by?
“This too shall pass!” – my go to mantra in any anxious moments or times
Want to see more of Brittney, check her out on her other platforms.