Welcome back to Feature Flip! Feature Flip is dedicated to showcasing some great features run by my fellow bloggers.
This week, I’m turning the tables on one of the most wonderful women I know, the lovely Vicki at Honest Mum! Honest Mum is one of the biggest lifestyle and parenting blogs in the UK.
Vicki is a full time blogger and multi-award nominated TV director and filmmaker. Her blogs, Honest Mum and sister site Mummy’s Got Style, feature family life, food, beauty and style respectively. Vicki’s most important job of all is being mum to two boys Oliver, 6 and Alexander 3.
Tell us about your Series – Wonderful Women
I am honoured that Mim has asked me to interview myself based on my long-running Wonderful Women series over on my blog Honest Mum. Thanks Mim!
The Wonderful Women series has been running for several years featuring Bafta winning actresses, Olympic athletes, Popstars, TV comediennes, entrepreneurs and outstanding bloggers.
- Describe a typical day for you?
We wake up early in this house (who doesn’t with kids aged 3 and 6?!) and I tend to not look at my phone/ think about work (unless there’s an emergency) until the kids are off to school or nursery (on the days Xander is in). As we get up at 7am and school and nursery are only down the road, mornings tend to be pretty chilled. We get dressed and eat breakfast as a family together and my husband Peter tends to the school run while I’ll do pick-up.
I’m at my home desk (which is now in my bedroom from my kitchen) by 9am ready to start the day on a normal day but if I have meetings/ shoots in London I’ll be rushing to the train station, more often than not running late. I tend to be in London once a week. When at home, I spend my days writing, planning, vlogging as well as taking calls with my agent or PR’s/ clients on current and future campaigns as well as creating proposals, sifting through photos for upcoming posts and scheduling social media while keeping an eye on the schedule for the week ahead. I often do consultancy for PR firms too so that is scheduled into my week as well.
I stop to run most mornings around 11am either on the treadmill in my garage or at the park near our home and as my husband works from home too, we usually have lunch together (these can be working lunches though and we’re often known to be eating while typing-oh the romance).
Once the kids are back from school and nursery, work stops until bedtime so we can all eat together (we bake healthy treats a few times a week too), do homework (loved Oliver’s recent one which consisted of watching old MJ and Spice Girls videos to introduce him to music his Mum liked as a teen) and then it’s bath and bedtime. I usually get in the bath with the boys-I can’t imagine a time they’ll be too big for joint baths but I know that day will come. Weep!
I usually pick up work again at around 8.30pm until 10pm and if I am on a big shoot that week, Nina, my super hairstylist will pop in to give me a blow dry to save time pre-shoot the following day.
10 until midnight is time to watch Family Time/ Suits/ Take Me Out with my husband before lights out!
My days are always packed but I love my job, it’s LITERALLY my dream job, I have crazy energy levels and drive and nothing stimulates me the way blogging and vlogging does.
- What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My kids. Undoubtedly. To have created these sweet, kind, smart little boys whom are so loving and charismatic too, is just amazing. They are my greatest success of all. I’m proud of my strong marriage to my husband and best friend Peter too, who cheesily still gives me butterflies. We are each other’s opposites and that’s why it works so well. He calms me down and I fire him up. We’ve been together since our early 20’s and I don’t remember life before we met. Soppy but true. I love my job and having had such a diverse career as a TV director writing and directing TV drama, documentaries, short films and commercials, means I have had the perfect foundation to my work now as a blogger and vlogger.
I love the democracy of working online and how empowering the digital field is. You are not reliant on commissioners or ‘gatekeepers’ within the industry, you write or shoot and hit publish, connecting instantly with others.
- What’s in your handbag?
Wow, who came up with these questions (oh it was me)! Ha! Too many things, my bright orange Mulberry continental wallet (has to be bright so I can see it), Swarovski pen one of my best friends, Carlie got me for my birthday, my Make up bag (leopard print with a bow panic-bought from Claire’s Accessories (I love) when mine broke when in the city centre of Leeds not long ago, Mulberry planner, a gift from my Mama a few years ago and my Canon G7X and mini tripod for filming as well as a handwritten shopping list usually too!
- What are your ambitions in life?
I think I’m realising/living them which I realise is amazing and I’m truly grateful of that (hard slog has got me here)…I am naturally ambitious, never ruthless (I believe in helping others and that collaboration equals joy and strength for all)..I want to keep growing my blog and have various spin offs I’m planning. I want to carve more time to push a TV series I’ve written which is in development, to possibly return to directing again when the right project presents itself and also to do more traditional media like TV presenting which I love. I’d also like to write a book and have started one based on my story of creating a successful blog.
…My husband and I always semi-joke about moving Stateside too so that’s an ambition… I often say I want to ‘crack America (Craig David stylee)’ Ha! My second biggest audience is America and the big dream is to move to LA-the 5 year plan, perhaps. I loved my time there as a filmmaker where my short film ‘Broken’ screened at the LA Harbour International Film Festival before being broadcast on US telly and I had some incredible film-related meetings while over there in Hollywood. I love the energy and how productive the industry is out there, I love the heat too of course and some of my closest uni friends are out there too. Let’s see what happens….
- What advice would you give your pre-baby self, that you now know, having had children?
Parenting is hard, relentless, boring at times and is NOTHING like you thought it would be (the good bits are better than you’d ever the imagine, the bad can be horrendous). The love of course is overwhelming but pregnancy and birth can be incredibly tough too. Thank goodness for blogs and social media, this was why I started blogging in late 2010, I felt lost and alone after a traumatic birth and needed to connect with like-minded parents and I did. More than connect, I found sisters, a family online, mates I’m close with to this day.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully in the US but if not, we love where we live in Yorkshire so as I am now, hopefully dividing my time between living outside of Leeds and London, maybe with another baby (who knows), a business I still love which has grown and a career which continues to keep stimulating me and making my family and I happy. Most of all, I want health and happiness for myself and those I love. I would quite like to have met Justin Bieber too by then. BAHHAHAHHAH! #Mumcrush
- What advice would you give a budding blogger?
Write and hit publish then keep writing and keep hitting publish. The more you practice confidence, the easier it becomes. Work on you and in the words of Bieber, ‘go and love yourself’. Once you do, no one can stop you.
- Finally, happiness is…
A summer’s day in my parent’s beautiful garden overlooking the reservoir where they live (the house we grew up in), the kids running up and down the lawn/bouncing on the trampoline, the BBQ on, Pimms being poured and laughter, lots of laughter.
Here are some examples of previous Wonderful Women interviews:
Thank you so much to Vicki for letting me turn the tables on her with her fantastic Wonderful Women series!