A Day In The Life Of Holly McCauley



Today, we step inside the world of Byron-based creative mama, Holly McCauley...

I usually wake up around 5am when my daughter, Della, gets up, so we sneak her into bed with us and try and get another half an hour snooze in. This doesn’t always happen! I’ve never been one to sleep in late, but since having her I miss the luxury of having the option! I sometimes have a look on Instagram in the morning but I find it makes me more sleepy so it’s literally a four-second scroll. I don’t use any other social media.

Once all three of us are up, one of us will make Della breakfast while the other showers, then we’ll get her dressed and let her wander around the house, which is entertainment enough for her at the moment as she has just learnt how to walk. While she is wandering, I probably take about 10 minutes to brush my teeth, do my hair and get dressed. Very speedy! I don’t eat brekky unless we go out for a treat on the weekends. So naughty. I’m also known to indulge in a sneaky croissant or pastry more often than I’d like to admit. I try to have The Beauty Chef’s Inner Glow every day but tend to forget.

 


I’ve recently discovered that I don’t actually need too much when it comes to beauty products and am pretty low maintenance...

I wash my face with hot water in the shower and use Aesop Fabulous Face Oil when I hop out. I lather my body in Coconut Skin Trip by Mountain Ocean, which smells like a dream, then use some NARS concealer. I’ve also recently discovered Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift, which is great. I let my hair dry naturally, but unfortunately am addicted to washing it every day! So there’s not much to it, but I definitely go for a more pared back look. I could be up and out the door in 10 minutes if I had to be.


Because my job is creative and I don’t usually have face-to-face meetings, I dress quite casually...

My outfits are usually some combination of an oversized button-up shirt and shorts, or a jumpsuit in summer, or double denim and anything high waisted in winter. Never heels, never uncomfortable, but also never trackies, even when I work from home! I also try to decide what I am going to wear the night before, just to keep my mornings running smoothly. I’m known to change outfits 10 times if I’m not feeling it, which totally ruins my quick morning routine.

After we are all dressed and ready, we head out for a morning coffee together at either the café down the street from us or near my partner’s work. It’s great to let Della run around and annoy all the other locals to let off some of her energy. If we are feeling extra efficient we’ll go down to the beach for a swim before work. I work remotely for a design agency, Smack Bang Designs, so will rent a desk two days a week from for the lovely girls at Zulu and Zephyr while my mum looks after Della and work from home the rest of the time. Every day is a bit different but it’s working for us right now. On the weekends it’s pretty much the same and we are out the door by 8am for a swim and caffeine hit.


I work for Smack Bang Designs, working on creative strategy and design...

This is my nine to five, which I do Monday to Thursday. Fridays are dedicated to running errands, keeping the house running and hanging with Della. I also work on freelance books, publications and graphic design after hours. I’ve got a strict policy of only taking on clients who I really love, which keeps me loving the freelance. When I rent the desk with the ZZ girls, a mid-morning coffee is a little more tempting. When I work from home it’s too much of an ordeal to get Della out of the house and down to the coffee shop in the mid-morning, I’d lose an hour of work!


I get anxious if I have too many unread emails or ones that I should have replied to...

Two words help me keep my inbox tidy: FOLDERS and UNSUBSCRIBE. I’m old school in that I need to write daily to-do lists on paper and keep a paper calendar. I personally work much better this way and have never opened iCal. At Smack Bang, we all use shared Google Docs and Google Sheets, which are life changing if you work collaboratively.

We’ve got some fun projects happening at Smack Bang, which are under wraps right now (but not for long!). Freelance-wise I’m working on a US print edition of Sarah Glover’s amazing cookbook, WILD, some lovely packaging for Vedic scented oils by The AYU, bits and bobs for Lunch Lady and my friend Amelia and I are planning a shoot for Doen’s online journal. Some girlfriends and I are also manifesting a free print publication all about women as well as working on plans for a gallery space.


I eat lunch pretty early, usually leftovers or avocado on toast, so by 1pm I’m probably back into to work pretty deep...

I snack on stone fruit, crackers and toast, pretty much the same snacks your typical toddler would enjoy. On a workday, 1pm to about 4.30pm flies by super quick. If I’m working from home I’ll probably be getting a little leg tap from Della, begging me to play with her. It’s torture, but I try and get her to do her own thing while I work! Della goes down for a sleep around 2pm, so I really hit the gas on work then. I stop working sometime around 4:30 – 5pm. I won’t open up my laptop again until after Della goes to bed around 7pm.


Homecooked dinner eaten on the beach is always a winner in our family, as is a glass of wine...

Della loves the beach, and so do we, so that’s a win. Sometimes my partner and I will meet after work at the pub for a beer and a catch up on the day while Della tries her hardest to beg for hot chips at every table. A camping trip and night out with the girls are also essential to my sanity.

We love taking Della to The Farm in Byron Bay early in the mornings before it gets too hectic. We have a great group of friends who all live close by, so she loves being social and hanging out with our friends and their kiddos. We go on lots of little adventures with Della, since having her, we try our best to include her in all the things we loved doing before she came along. Safe to say that for now, life hasn’t changed too much and she has slotted in amazingly.


We only get one TV channel at the moment because our reception is SO BAD, so we have become addicted to home renovation shows...

We also love a good Netflix documentary, the last one we watched was Badlands. I love a good book so if I’m really in the zone I’ll read at any time of the day or night. If I’m in a work vortex I try to finish up by 10pm, if I’m not working, I’ll try to get to bed by 9pm. Della isn’t amazing at sleeping through the night yet so that’s always in the back of my mind! A hot shower followed by eye cream and lip balm is about as technical as it gets for me in the evening.

Story: Marisa Remond | Images: Amelia Fullarton


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