INSPIRING STORIES VOL.14 - KIM
When I saw her adorable triplets, natural colours, tips on minimalising wardrobe, home and food snacks I thought I couldn't 'keep this inspiring lady to myself'. I Insta met Kim only recently, but very soon she became one of my 'must follow' and today I would love to share part of her life with you.
1. Can you tell me more about yourself?
I'm Kim (38yrs) I'm an ex-stylist & blogger from Cape Town, South Africa.
I grew up with parents in the advertising and always knew I wanted to be a part of the behind the scenes - I actually studied makeup and special effects but fell into styling when I interned at Marie Claire Magazine. I loved my styling work which took me from working on fashion editorials for Oprah magazine to TV commercials and lifestyle expos. When we made the decision to have kids I started a fashion and decor blog which I turned into my full-time business, slowly transitioning from stylist to blogger. I was lucky to start it at a time when blogging was just becoming popular in South Africa and was really grateful to be featured in loads of magazines, radio interviews, and TV.
Four years ago we moved to Dublin as my husband had a wonderful job opportunity. At the time, Harry was just one and a half years old, and we were flexible and wanted to try something new. We've been back to our beautiful home many times but find ourselves really happy and settled in Dublin. We have since had triplets (IVF was one of the reasons for going home) and perhaps that has rooted us even more so! I've since stopped working, but the last questions will fill you in on more!
2. You have 4 children including triplets. How do you manage? Any tips for organising your day? Routines?
The one blessing about having such premature babies (28 wks), is that they leave the hospital very routined. We made sure we stuck to that as best we could. With triplets, being routined is what has got us through that first, very tough year. Everyone knows what to expect. Kids, parents, carers! We have the most wonderful new family member from Brazil. Iracelle is 26 and lives in with us, helping us with the house and kids. She is my angel!
Every night before I go to bed I always make sure everything is ready for the next day. Clothes are out, the kitchen is clean, as much laundry is done as possible, things are tidied and packed away. It makes the hugest difference to your mornings when things are orderly. I also try to plan my day (roughly) the night before so I feel like I have a bit more of grip on things. I believe in a good morning routine too. My husband is an early bird so he'll take the kids first thing. (He also uses it his time to bond the with kids before work) I usually start with a quiet coffee, go through what I'm grateful for, try to stretch, do a very quick and simple beauty routine and then try to visualise my next few hours. (This is all within 45 min -1hr) In the past I'd just get up and go; thinking I'd get X&Y done, but instead, I was just setting myself up for failure as the kids would always prohibit these "productive-ideas". Now I mentally prepare myself for what may lie ahead (oats on the floors, a full sink, crying ... etc) and know that once they're down for naps/school; it's my time.
3. I love your Project 333. Can you tell me more about it?
It's something I've wanted to do for years, but like most people I think, I found it really hard to "let-go".
It's a minimal fashion movement where for 3 months, you only have 33 items in your closest. This includes clothing, shoes, accessories. (Pj's/gym gear/loungewear don't count.) I've absolutely loved it and found it much easier than I thought I would. You'll totally rid decision fatigue (you know the full-closest-but-nothing-to-wear syndrome) and it really has made me more thoughtful about purchases. What do I need vs want.
I was a blogger for many years and all the "stuff" just wasn't sitting well with me anymore. I was young and it was a dream job of course, but as I got older having a lot of "stuff" just felt excessive! You just don't need 12 bottles of perfume! I'm really trying to be more conscious about what I bring into our home, not just with clothing, but with the kid's toys, homeware, etc. For more info on Project 333, check out project-333
4. I've noticed your ideas for healthy snack and meals on your Instagram. Do you have any favorites and any tips on preparation or where do you find your inspiration?
I'm becoming more & more Eco-conscious and noticed that all those "healthy" kids snacks we buy are all individually wrapped and ALSO, not always as healthy as they make out to be. I don't always have the time, but if I'm looking for a little one-on-one activity with Harry, we often make something together. (Or at least until he gets bored and I finish up!) Oats bars are a favourite at the moment as they have no nuts and I can send them in his school lunch box, or if a baby is not eating well, it's a quick and easy breakfast in a bar.
I've also noticed that when there are no bought snacks in the cupboard, Harry eats more to hunger than to "curiosity". He also eats real food. Nuts, carrots, fruit, olives etc. Making snacks together also really nurtures Harry's independence in the kitchen. You may need to practice a little patience; but allowing them to chop, crack eggs etc - really installs great confidence in them. We're not perfect - life gets busy and of course, there are bought snacks, but I just try to be conscious of it!
5. Eco products/ Eco lifestyle - what things have you implemented so far, and what would like to do in the future? Do you have any favourite shops/ blogs/ pages you visit for inspiration and shop with?
Trying to install an eco-lifestyle can be very overwhelming and expensive to do overnight. One often thinks, is this even helping? But with something like 7.4 billion people in the world, just swapping out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one, can help!
I've swapped out plastic zip lock bags for re-usable stasher bags that can go in the freezer and dishwasher for example.
I'm using a shampoo bar and have no plastic bottles in our shower. I love South African brand Skin Creamery - a natural skin care brand (beautiful glass and ceramic packaging) that has a gorgeous all-purpose moisturiser for face and body, a lovely facial powder you can cleanse with but also turn into scrub and the range is small but effective. It's clever products like this that help minimise all those plastic bottles. The beauty industry is a MASSIVE culprit in having us believe we need all these different lotions for every different body part. (I do get that sometimes you may have a specific skin concern you may need to treat)
I've also switched out all plastic cleaning tools for wood or bamboo; I try to do wooden toys only for the kids rather than plastic and I love our ekobo bamboo dinner wear for the kids. In fact, you could use it for the whole family. They're fab!
I'm next wanting to focus on more food recycling and I'm about to test out an Eco-egg for the laundry, rather than washing detergent! I love E-cover as a cleaning brand, but with 4 kids, we go through a lot of laundry detergent which adds up to a lot of bottles. I recommend every time you need to replace something, you can slowly start switching to an eco-version. It doesn't have to all happen overnight!
7. I really like your style. What are your favourite shop or brands for interiors and clothes?
Instagram has really opened up a world of shopping (DANGEROUS!!)
I discovered Woodchuck - a beautiful interiors brand using all wood. From useful storage to the most beautiful play kitchen you've ever seen! I dream of replacing all our wardrobe doors, making Harry a custom bed and a lovely nook-type table and chairs for the playroom. I just want to Woodchuk my house, really :)
Coming from South Africa I still have such a love for African inspired homeware. This side of the world you can look at Mmss.social / The Basket Room / Yonder Living for incredible African baskets and other details. I Love The Blue Door in Dublin for all my wooden cleaning tools & hooks and Scout Design store for more local Irish wares. They have the most beautiful Arran jerseys that I live in!
I can't remember who said it, but I love the saying; "A home should look collected and not decorated". So many of our items are from travels or collected over the years. I think a home should also really be lived in before going too crazy on purchasing. Again, you tune into what is needed and what would be practical rather than decorating for the sake of it. It's easier said than done. I'm one of those people that want to get everything done, NOW! But with past experience and small children, I've made plenty of bad purchases. I now see our home as an ongoing project. Adding what is necessary or "sparks joy" when we are able to afford it.
I really try to be conscious with the kids too; rather buying quality toys and owning less!
8. In 3 words how would you describe yourself?
9. Any plans for the future?
My husband and I love to dream up plans together - it keeps us inspired! We've thought up eco-retreats to general stores. A business where we could work together. That's the dream!
For now, my priority is my kids! With a dash of Instagram on the side to keep me creative; "working" and inspired.
My Favourite stores:
Kids & Baby:
Design / clothing:
Current & All time Fave Cook Books:
The Extra Virgin Kitchen http://www.susanjanewhite.com
Fresh, Tasty, Happy by Jane Coxwell
Eat Happy https://melissahemsley.com
Weaning Sense (Soon to be an e-book for international orders) https://www.megfaure.com/product/weaning-sense/
An excellent book for weaning and family food.
Thank you again Kim!
FOLLOW KIM HERE - @KIMGRAYZA