Your name: Ali Clifford
Occupation: incredibusy.com - social media marketing and PR for ethical and sustainable brands
Name and age of your little one(s): Two very blonde boys, 13 and 11 – woah teenagers are challenging – nobody tells you about that!
A little bit about yourself:
I'm a London-burbs based stylist, who in a previous life ran the Design Studio for a well-known British Department Store group, and went on to be Creative Director for one of the founding organic and fairtrade kidswear brands in the UK.
Now with my own business, I work with predominantly ethical SMEs, establishing and maintaining a strong, engaging online presence for them. In my spare time I love getting crafty with my two boys, upcycling old reclaimed furniture, baking (and eating) and experimenting with Instagram projects #sgiew and #kidscrafts101.
I also enjoy writing for FunCraftsKids.com; aGreenerLifeforus.com and KidsChaos.com.
A sneak peak into your fridge (the good, the bad and the ugly!):
Brilliant and unexpected question! so in our fridge, always a carton of soya milk, (and the Fairtrade coffee to go with) always avocados – and lemons and limes – yesterday's leftovers – which will work as today's lunch – and REAL butter for baking (none of that 'spreadable' stuff) - ummm, and if I'm lucky, some Fairtrade Chocolate.
Favourite thing about being a mum:
So much has changed as they've grown up, I love it when they are really animated about the simplest things – and excitedly chatter on, how they still hold my hand when nobody is looking, and family TV time where we all snuggle on the sofa together for a family film... I love that it's taken me back to my art school roots, as we draw and paint together – being a mother has shaped the person I've become, and totally shaped my career too...
What is the one product YOU couldn’t live without:
Personally? Henna! And yes, mascara and chocolate... and probably avocado and marmite, oh, actually, this list is far exceeding your 'one product' limit isn't it??
What is the one product your child couldn’t live without:
Paper and pencils, if in doubt, they get drawing...
Why do you feel it’s important to live healthily?
It's a great responsibility – being a parent – to stay healthy and well for them, to be there as they grow up – and be able to be a good example for them in their own health/lifestyle choices; I hope that my husband and I have done that – he does the majority of the cooking too, and that's set a great precedent for my boys (although, they do like to bake a cake with me too!)
Your top tip for other parents:
Encourage their creativity, limit their screen time – that way they are never 'bored' - get outdoors – never use the words 'let's go for a walk' - choose 'let's go on an adventure' - although that doesn't work so well for teenagers!
Best #parentingfail story:
Storing dried red chillies at crawling height on the vegetable rack - enough said??
You favourite quote:
One of my favourites, and seriously, remember this if you're in a grump... "If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning "Good morning" at total strangers." Maya Angelou.
One key life lesson you learnt from your mum or dad?
My Mum's was – think about what you write, be kind at all times, never write something down you wouldn't want somebody else to share publically (she was referring to my childhood scribblings, but this totally works now for texts and all forms of social media today!)
And my Dad's – more poignant, in the absence of any religious ethereal belief - that people live on in our memories – and enjoying making, and recalling those memories brings those absent, closer.
One lesson you hope you’ll teach you’re children when they’re all grown up:
One? Hard to narrow that down :) - I'd hope that we teach them to appreciate and practice socialism, fairness, happiness, sharing, rejoicing, friendships, loyalty; and to live, love, and laugh often.