This Week

Here's a truth bomb, pregnancy is not all insta-perfection, with green smoothies and baby bump selfies...

It's a time for all sorts of new experiences and, unfortunately, waddling around with back pain is a common one. This is a subject close to my heart, as it's a condition I treat frequently, as well as something I've experienced firsthand with both pregnancies. I had to be especially vigilant looking after my back with my second pregnancy, where I was carrying out physical work both at home with a mischievous toddler and in my clinic treating.

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When London-based Laura Roso Vidrequin - a senior buyer at Harvey Nichols and mother to baby boy Albert – became a mother for the first time, she noticed that while there were changes in the adult market, the circular economy for children's garments remained largely the same...

She also noticed that second-hand clothes had been deemed as "dirty" for a long time. "Consumers are used to associating second-hand with thrift shops, that are not always taken care of and are often full of old, discarded items that have not been cleaned or organized," she says. It inspired her to launch Kids Oclock, a fashion resale platform where you'll find the best of pre-loved for your babies and toddlers (sizes go from newborn to three years old) and where you can sell, rent, or buy clothes. Because as Laura recently posted on her Instagram account @kids_oclock, there is no planet B.

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In a few minutes you can learn a lot from contemporary textile artist Nikita Sheth, namely the importance of quality family time. When she was just two year's old, her family home was burnt down.

Luckily, no one was hurt but it meant she was raised in a home where material possessions came secondary to family dinners and spending quality time with one another. She grew up in a home with "good food and laughs". While it took time for her to embrace her Indian heritage – her dad's family was one of the first Indian (Gujurati) to move from India in the 1950's – she later realised how lucky she was to have it.

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We're officially at the half way point. And this has been one of the first winters where I haven't wished it away.

Maybe because we've had no choice but to get nice and cosy because of COVID-19 or because I've made my home more of a retreat, but I'm enjoying these colder months far more than years past.

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"My sister, Rebecca, and I are extremely close. We must speak to each other about five times a day. She has four children as well and her boys are a few years older than Henry. She is my best friend, my go-to for just about everything
Sometimes I feel like she's the only one who truly gets it all," says Sydney-based mother of four Louise Manning on her bond with her sister. She grew up in a busy household, and a big family of her own was something she always dreamed of.

Louise studied fashion design and went on to work for Eva Galambos at Parlour X throughout her early 20's. She studied interior design before her son Henry arrived. "I knew that, if it were possible, I wanted to be at home with my children, so I feel lucky that I'm able to do that. My family is my work and I'm extremely proud of them. I don't take it for granted that I can stay at home. I still love interiors and fashion and I will pursue something in that space down the track but at this moment I'm so happy and grateful to be doing what I am doing," she says.

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The Grace Tales is a global lifestyle platform for mothers searching for style, substance, and solidarity. Driven by creating content, community and connection, we celebrate the paradox of modern motherhood; the struggle and the beauty, the joy and the relentlessness.

It takes a village to raise a child. If I were to reflect on my journey as a mother, this rings truer than anything else. We all need help. We all need a village. We all need a friend who we can do a drive-by and drop off our kids for our hour while we regain our sanity...

We've all experienced the isolation that can come from becoming a mother for the first time. Those feelings of being disconnected from the rest of the world. For mothers, community is our lifeline. Creating a modern village is what makes us happy parents.

I met financial planner, best-selling author (her new book Mindful Money is out now) and founder of Sugar Mamma Canna Campbell many years ago. We actually went to school together, but being in different grades, we never connected. It wasn't until years later, through a mutual friend, that we really got to know each other. Fast-forward 10 or so years and I couldn't imagine life without her. We've been in the trenches together (we still are) and we've seen the best and worst of one another. We've watched one another start businesses, write books, have breakdowns over the stress of new motherhood and we've leaned on one another constantly. We've shared everything from skincare secrets to sleepless nights and more.

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We've heard that so many of you delight in reading the stories of our members across the world, and we know this week's subject will be no different.

As the founder of Luxuosa Residences, the wonderful Joanna White may soon be your go-to woman when it comes to booking luxurious, family-friendly holidays. We were delighted to speak to Joanna about her road to becoming a business owner, how she manages the work-life juggle and of course, her top travel picks. We're ready to pack our bags and come right with you, Joanna!

Visit Luxuosa Residences | Find out more about The GRACE Collective

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