This week we are introducing Natalie Ashton to our Say Hello To The Pro’s series. This series is intended to connect our customers, friends, and family through honest conversations.
Today Natalie chats with us on that ever-tricky, yet ever-rewarding Mum work-life balance. While working across three time zones, she also doubles as a fantastic Mum to her 2 year old girl, Evie. Natalie spills her favourite local brands and a couple of good reads to add to your Summer reading list and her thoughts on daily affirmations. Like Natalie, we are also longing to resume what we love doing – travelling and the enjoyment of live music concerts.
Fingers crossed with you, Natalie.
We hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as we did.
Day to day, what do you do mostly?
Day to day I answer to the boss, my 2 year old daughter Evie! I’m also a Creative Content Director working on the Google account for a London-based creative agency, which means I work across three different time zones on a daily basis – NZ, UK and East Coast USA. It creates a pretty busy but fulfilling working week.
What do you love doing?
Spending time with my daughter and husband brings me so much joy, you’ll find us at the beach or playground most weekends. I’m also very partial to a long, rose-fuelled lunch or night out with friends. In a pre-COVID life I loved to travel and go to watch live music, fingers crossed we can do that again soon!
What stresses you out?
Like a lot of working mums I get stressed out by trying to put my family first but also succeed in my professional life. It’s a real juggling act and the mum guilt is real – especially trying to work during lockdown with a toddler at home!
Where do you work out and why do you choose to work out there?
I have a Les Mills membership, I love the huge range of equipment and also the classes. Grit is my favourite – it’s 30 mins of absolute pain, but it’s over quickly. I also love reformer Pilates at Core Collective in City Works Depot – it’s a burn like nothing else and makes me feel so strong.
What is your usual day to day diet and what are your favourite treats?
Not going to lie, I absolutely hate cooking and it’s not one of my strengths so we eat pretty easy family meals – pasta, salads, bbq, curries, tacos. I always get a 3pm slump so that’s usually when I make a smoothie and that gives me the energy to get through the rest of the day. In terms of treats, it’s the trifecta for me – wine, chocolate and coffee.
Do you have any tiny habits that heed big results? i.e. What small things do you do consistently that make you feel great or have a positive impact on your life?
I get stressed and anxious a lot with work and a friend recently got me into doing daily affirmations which has really helped me to calm those feelings and feel more confident – I am all about the affirmations now!
Also generally trying to keep a clean house and somewhat ordered living space (as much as you can with a 2 year old) goes a long way to help my mind feel organised and in control.
What drives and motivates you?
Above all, I want to make my daughter proud and be a good example of a successful, strong woman. I am really inspired by my group of close girlfriends, they are all crazy successful in their chosen fields and fun, creative and amazing humans. I’m also very close with my family, so making them proud also drives me.
We love supporting local! What New Zealand made products do you use, love and recommend?
Sweepstake Winners – an amazing NZ-made free-thinking, genderless clothing brand owned by my best friend Julia Ford.
Aim’n – I really like their activewear, good quality and reasonably priced.
Jamie Kay – gorgeous NZ-made baby and children’s clothes.
What media do you enjoy – podcasts, magazines, books, tv shows etc.
I am a huge reader, I usually go through at least a book a week. A couple of recent favourites have been Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz. I love a bit of Netflix – I just emerged from the Squid Game rabbit hole and loved it! I also love a good crime drama, Mare of Eastown was a recent favourite.
What does sustainability mean to you and how do you incorporate sustainable practices into your lifestyle?
I think sustainability means making conscious choices about what you buy and how you live – trying to reduce your impact on the planet as much as possible. I avoid single use plastic like plastic water bottles and bags and try to choose sustainable household products like cleaners as much as possible.
What supplements do you take and why?
What ways do you use Pro You protein powder?
I make an afternoon smoothie with Pro You, berries, greek yoghurt and almond milk, I also like to drink it with water pre-workout in the morning. I’m not one of those people who can train on an empty stomach so Pro You gives me a good energy boost without weighing me down.
Thanks for sharing this space with us Natalie!