Frankie Graddon, journalist and co-host of The Wingwoman podcast is a busy working mum and here, she shows us her style in a bag. Frankie picked our new cotton “Resilience” bag. In a cute floral print, this bag benefits Refuge, as for each bag sold, La Redoute donates £2.50 to the charity via Work for Good. Last season, La Redoute raised £2,500 for Refuge in this way.
I've always been a light traveller. My bags have erred on the smaller side, big enough for just the essentials: phone, keys, cards. I've never liked the feeling of being weighed down with possessions on the morning commute or when running from meeting to meeting in town.
However, that all changed when I became a mum sixteen months ago. Now, as well as having my own belongings with me, I need to carry the many bits and bobs that my son, Alfie, needs. Snacks, toys, wipes, more snacks - it's heavy work having a kid. So now I reach for a big bag that can fit everything in.
A chic eco-cotton tote
like this is my go-to; I love the effortless throw-on-and-go shape, plus it's easy to sponge stains out made by messy little hands. I'm always looking for ways to cut down on my plastic consumption, so I'll also use this instead of plastic shopping bags when I go to the grocery store, too. In addition, for every bag sold, £2.50 is donated to Refuge, via Work for Good.
When it comes to what's inside my bag, it's very reflective of my lifestyle right now; a slightly chaotic mixture of work life and motherhood.
I'm not sure I like how reliant I am on my phone, but quite honestly my week doesn't work without it. I often find writing when I'm out and about easier than when sitting behind a desk, so I use a notepad App to jot things down. And because I'm still figuring out the mum/work juggle, on days when I don't have childcare, I'll usually reply to emails on my phone when pushing my son on the swings, or if he's fallen asleep in the buggy. As any parent will tell you, having a phone handy to play cartoons on is extremely necessary entertainment for bored kids.
2. Make-up compact
My make-up routine has always been minimal, but since having Alfie, the time I can spend getting ready in the morning is very brief. However, it's important to me that I still look put together, especially now that more and more work meetings are face-to-face. I find multi-use products and palettes save time, and can be applied on the go if needed. I love this Chanel bronzer and highlighter compact which gives me a holiday glow. It comes with a brilliant mini blending brush and the mirror is big enough to see your entire face in it for touch-ups.
One of the truest pieces of parenting advice I've been given is this: ‘a hungry toddler is a grumpy toddler, so always pack snacks’. Whether we're going on a day trip to a museum, or just heading to the local park, my bag is always full of healthy snacks to fend off any tantrums. I've lost count of the times I've stuck my hand in my bag to pull out my cards, only to whip out a banana skin or empty cracker packet instead.
Much like snacks, it pays to be over prepared in the toy department when venturing out with Alfie. He's teething at the moment so this squashy giraffe is perfect for him to chew on, plus it can go in the dishwasher after he inevitably drops it on the floor.
I love walking, both for the exercise and the headspace. One of the many things I love about living in London is how close everything is, so I'll often walk between meetings, or on an Alfie day, we'll walk along the canal to the local city farm. I'll use the time to listen to podcasts or audio books. I'm listening to Animals by Lisa Taddeo and Stanley Tucci's Taste. I really enjoy the Table Manners podcast hosted by Jessie and Lennie Ware, and always tune in to Fortunately with Fi Glover and Jane Garvey on BBC Sounds. Of course I'll listen to The Wingwoman, the podcast I co-host with journalist (and my best friend) Charlie Gowans-Eglinton.
6. Reusable wipes
One of the things that struck me when I had a baby was how much waste we started to produce. I'm trying to do things as environmentally conscious as possible, such as renting my son's clothes and buying second hand. I was given these brilliant reusable microfiber wipes from JoJo Glow and can't recommend them enough. They're super soft, so can be used on face, bums and hands - just dampen them with water. They can also be washed in the machine.
7. Lip Balm
I've been on the quest for the best lip balm for years and really rate La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume. It's very moisturising and doesn't feel at all sticky. The balm can actually be used all over the face and body to soothe dry patches and calm bites and rashes, so it's a great multi-use product to have in your bag. I also really trust the gentle formula on my son's skin.
I have loved sharing what goes in to my bag on a daily basis, this La Redoute bag is so lightweight and roomy that it’s tempting to fill it with too much, but as I said at the beginning, I like to travel light!
We hope you enjoyed this fun look at Frankie’s life – what do you carry in your bag and why? Do you need a good clear out? Is it time for a new bag to house your daily life? Head over to La Redoute for a lovely selection of new in bags to suit any lifestyle and we look forward to bringing you another Style in a Bag shortly!