Describe the Abay household in three words…
Chaotic, happy and girly.
What makes you happy?
When my girls play together (they fight a lot so seeing them play really makes me so happy). Coffee. Fresh flowers from the markets. Turning up the radio when I’m alone in the car.
How do you start your day?
With a coffee. Always. High-quality coffee is non-negotiable, no matter how hectic things get in our household. If he’s not out cycling, my husband will bring me a coffee in bed. It’s a small moment of peace before the day begins. We’ve were given our first Nespresso machine as a wedding gift six years ago – possibly the best gift I’ve ever been given! The brand has just relaunched its Tribute to Milano Limited Edition coffee, which was inspired by the bustling Italian coffee culture of Milan. It’s our current favourite. Not surprisingly, as a sleep deprived mother, I love intense, strong coffee.
The Nespresso story is very inspiring – it began with a simple (but genius) idea: to enable anyone to create the perfect cup of espresso coffee. Gone are the days where we needed to go to a café to get a good coffee. As a mother, I love that we can create the café experience at home.
Sustainability is also very important to me and Nespresso has worldwide sustainability initiatives in place, meaning the beans used in the 24 unique Grands Crus coffees can be traced back to their origins, right down to where the bean was picked. In addition to sustainable sourcing programs, Nespresso’s recycling capabilities are continuing to grow, with nearly 20,000 used capsule collection points across Australia, including select florists, garden centres, Nespresso Boutiques and Australia Post offices and street boxes.
What are your fashion essentials?
I feel like each season there are always so many great new brands on offer. The Paradise Catcher basket bags, Atelier x Grace MAMA sweater, J.Crew flats, colourful skirts (I don’t really wear dresses), white shirts and my The Grace Collection neoprene tote for days when I’m running around with the kids or going to the gym.
What makes you glow?
Sleep. Sadly, that’s not always a given. I’ve used Chantecaille foundation for years – I love the dewy finish. But my biggest beauty secret is Pola’s leave on daily mask. It’s like having an oxygen facial at home. My mum got me onto it. A quick spray tan from Stacey McPherson also makes me feel good!
I’m going back to 1995 now. Clueless. I actually memorised the entire script when I was at school. And the teachers were worried I wasn’t applying myself. Ahem.
Luke Perry from 90210. Crush doesn’t quite cut it. I was totally in love. I even took posters of him to school camp and hung them up on my tent. What can I say, I was into interiors from a young age.
What was your first job?
I worked at a chain of ice cream stores called New Zealand Ice Cream when I was 14. When you think about it, it was kind of the dream job. I also worked at the local fish and chips shop by the beach.
How do you chill out?
I drink wine most nights! I’m sure there are healthier ways to relax. I do make sure I get to the gym a few times a week. It took me a long time to start exercising after I became a mother (years actually!) but now I’m back into it, I couldn’t imagine not exercising. It clears my mind and reduces my anxiety.
What are your time management tips?
Always prep things such as school lunches, preschool clothes etc. the night before. Don’t go to bed too late – you’ll be wreaked in the morning. Breathe and remember that when you feel overwhelmed, it’s never as bad as you think. You’ll get through those busy weeks. I love the maxim “done is better than perfect”. Don’t spend too long on any task or you’ll never get anything done.
Talk us through your diet…
I’m a huge health nut. My diet is high in Tim Tams, Mint Slices, coffee, wine – so it’s really varied. Full of all the good stuff. On a more serious note, I’m all about everything in moderation. If I feel like chocolate, I’ll eat it. I’ll also have a salad for lunch every other day. The one thing that is non-negotiable for me is a coffee first thing in the morning. I am actually half way through Eat Fit Food’s 28 Day Challenge so I’ll keep you posted!
Talk us through your morning routine…
My morning routine involves trying to keep the meltdowns to a minimum. The girls are ready to go the minute they wake up so I try and move through the routine quickly as the more drawn out it is, the more energetic they get and it tends to end in a meltdown. When I am going to work and they are going to preschool (Monday-Wednesday), we try to get out of the house by 730am. I don’t eat breakfast until I’m at my desk so just start with a coffee. My hair doesn’t always get brushed (if it’s in a bun, you’ll know I didn’t have time to brush it). I’ll smear some foundation and bronzer on my face, but usually, end up blending it while I’m doing the school run. I might remember mascara, but not always. Clearly, like most mothers, the morning is very relaxed. I have started trying to get up around 530am to get an hour of work done before they get up, but it’s hard to get up every morning in winter!
Fun fact about you?
I have a dolphin tattoo on my hipbone. I got it done when I was backpacking through Spain when I was 18. People always get a surprise when they see it pop out of my jeans.
Travelling with kids is…
Kind of a disaster in our experience. We went to London a few months ago and took two GB Pockit Strollers and two Fly Tots. They made the long-haul flight SO much easier. Thank goodness also for the movie Trolls. I think Arabella watched it about 10 times.
The best thing that ever happened to you?
The moment that it became cool to wear activewear all day. That’s like a dream come true for mothers. I don’t have to go near the gym and it still looks like I’ve been working out. I really want to thank the person that decided leggings and sneakers were appropriate to wear everywhere. Genius idea.
Describe the moment after you gave birth to your children?
The most extraordinary moment of my life. Nothing will ever beat that.
The most challenging part of motherhood…
Having two premature babies was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. Arabella’s birth wasn’t easy, but her little sister arrived 17 months later and that was even more challenging. Luckily, we’re through all that now and we have two feisty, fun little girls.
Your survival tips for motherhood?
Coffee. Did I mention how much I adore Nespresso coffee? Wine. Lots of wine. Family and fabulous girlfriends who will laugh and cry with you.