The Tale Of Rachel Sharp And Evangeline Sharp-Watt - The Grace Tales

The Tale Of Rachel Sharp And Evangeline Sharp-Watt


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Photography: Julie Adams Make-up: Rajja Richani from Napoleon Perdis Words: Georgie Abay

If anyone should know a thing or two about staying fit and healthy while you’re pregnant, it’s the talented, glamorous editor of Women’s Fitness magazine Rachel Sharp. “There’s a reason I moved from working in luxury fashion magazines to launch a fitness one two years ago – I genuinely love exercise and movement and it’s always been an enormous part of my life. Having said that, I’m probably the least fit now I’ve been in almost 20 years, given I’d rather spend all of my non-work time with my daughter rather than training for half marathons or doing CrossFit,” she says. These days, exercise is mostly a family affair. She’ll squeeze in a couple of training or yoga sessions a week or a gentle family bike ride or long walk on the weekend, and prenatal yoga when she can find the time. “I’m a huge advocate for fitness and exercise, but also for it fitting in with your life rather than being a slave to it. I want Evie and her soon-to-be sibling to grow up seeing exercise as fun rather than a chore and something we do as a family,” says Sydney-based Sharp, who is not only the mother to 19-month-old Evangeline, but also 25 weeks pregnant with her second child.

Sharp and I have known each other for almost a decade now. When I moved to Dubai, she was the editor of Grazia magazine and a few months after I arrived, she was asked to launch and edit Harper’s BAZAAR Arabia and took me on as a writer. When we both moved back to Sydney, we ended up working on Harper’s BAZAAR Australia together too. In late 2012, our daughters were born two weeks apart so we spent a lot of our maternity leave together, pushing prams around the park and swapping stories on everything from sleepless nights to swaddling techniques. She's totally inspiring - even more so now she's a mother and manages to edit a brilliant magazine while also doing an equally brilliant job raising her daughter.

Sharp says her career completely changed after she had a child - for the better. “I can’t work late every night or on weekends anymore, so I’ve learned to work faster, streamline things I would have spent far too long on, and accept that things don’t have to be 100 per cent perfect to still work really well. Most importantly, I don’t worry so much about the little things at all now; small stresses just roll off me because I have a new sense of perspective. Before Evie, I was the first person in the office in the morning, and the last person to leave at night – now it’s the opposite. It helps that I have a supportive employer and fantastic magazine staff, and very talented deputy – I couldn’t juggle my job with a toddler otherwise.”

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Speaking of support, she also credits her hands-on fiancé Alex. "He makes Evie’s dinner and baths/settles her as much, if not more, than I do, particularly if I have to work late," she says. Her parents are also an incredible source of support. “Motherhood has also given me an even greater appreciation for my own mum Judith, who I’ve always known was pretty amazing. If I manage to do even half as good a job as her as a compassionate, wise, ever-present mother juggling work and home, I’ll have done very well. Even now, she’s showing me how to be the perfect grandmother one day too. Family is the most important thing in the world. My father taught me the value of being honest, ethical and thoughtful, and I feel good about the trail I’ve left behind me in work and life. Those are values I want to teach my children too."

Rachel's little list of loves:
The Ocean – I grew up by the beach and would start and finish every day in the water if I could. My partner Alex and I have that in common.
Chai Tea from The Little Marionette in Balmain, Sydney. Chai has been a big craving for both pregnancies, and this is the best-tasting I’ve found in Sydney – sweet and moreish.
Evie’s happy face as I walk through the door in the afternoon, while she runs at me squealing “Mummeeeee!” with arms up.
Port Macquarie. I grew up there and my parents still live in our lovely family home near the beach. We visit them as often as we can, and it always feels like a holiday.
Curling up in my giant comfy new leather feeding chair with Evie on my lap to read a picture book with her. I love that she’s already loves her books so much.
A delicate white gold necklace spelling the word ‘kiss’ in diamonds my parents gave me for my most recent birthday. My dear maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Kiss, so it’s doubly sentimental. I wear it every day.
The Orange Grove Farmers Market in Lilyfield every Saturday morning – amazing fresh flowers, organic food, skincare and fantastic coffee. And the kids’ playground there is great too!
Family bike rides (Centennial Park, The Bay Run, Homebush Bike Park) – Evie sits in a fab (and very secure) child seat Alex has installed on his bike.
My iPhone. I know we’re all too tied to technology these days, but it honestly frees me up to work on the fly from anywhere, which means more time with my family and less in the office.
Shiva Rea’s Prenatal Yoga DVD - Jillian Davison (former Vogue Australia Creative Director, now Glamour US fashion director) told me about this. I did it constantly through my last pregnancy and do as often as I can now with my second. I find fixed classes really hard to schedule in – a DVD is far more flexible (no pun intended).

April 2014

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We didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl when I decorated the nursery...

I did know I wanted a space that felt cosy and gender neutral, which is why I chose a beautiful pale green for the walls called Shutterbug, teamed with crisp white furniture. There has been plenty of pink prettiness added since she arrived though. I wanted it to be a fun, nurturing, interesting space that was functional too, which is why we added a daybed (which comes in handy if she’s sick or unsettled and one of us wants to stay in the room with her) under the window, and a big bookshelf.

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