The founders of Not Such A Model Mum, the fashion and beauty blog for mums trying to juggle it all, share their online favourites.

Jessica Arora and Caroline Barton founded Not Such A Model Mum in 2016 as a lifestyle, fashion and beauty blog for mums trying to juggle it all. With over four decades of modelling and fashion experience between them, their blog and Instagram is jam packed full of fashion and beauty tips learnt from the best in the business. Jessica and Caroline are on the judging panel of the Good Web Guide Awards 2019. Here they share some of their online favourites.

Caroline’s favourite website… Boden when shopping for my family’s clothes. As much as I would love to say otherwise, I keep going back and buying. Otherwise my guilty pleasure would be Mail Online Show Biz. I know, so educating! Oh and The Sale-room, which is a live online auctions site for antiques and collectables but I have to limit myself on that one.

Jess’s favourite website... For general inspiration and occasional shopping I love Net-a-Porter. I also love Wardrobe Icons run by Laura Fantacci and Petro Stofberg. It is a weekly online magazine jam-packed full of timeless fashion ideas, gorgeous styling and great fashion finds. The geek in me loves National Geographic for its stunning imagery and such diverse, fascinating articles and videos. I’m always learning. Just five minutes on that website and I always discover so many new and exciting things. I hate to say the same as Caroline, but Daily Mail is my guilty pleasure, especially the Sidebar of Shame. I would love to say something highbrow, but the comments sections of the Daily Mail make me laugh so much.

Jess’s favourite app… I have so many favourite apps depending on what mood I’m in. Whilst I could pretend that my kids are learning Cantonese whilst juggling and reading Dostoyevsky, the reality is that YouTube Kids is a parental must-have. Anyone that says otherwise is a better parent than me. I love Glo which runs online yoga classes that are taught by some of the best yoga teachers from all around the world. I did my yoga teacher training a few years ago and always notice how much better I feel when I practise yoga, but clearly with three kids and work and a life, it’s difficult to get to a yoga studio. This app allows me to choose a class based on class length, how I feel, and what I want to do with the best teachers. You literally never have to do the same class twice.

Caroline’s favourite app… This is hard to say as I have so many and it depends on what I want and when. Currently I am moving house and with three kids who still seem to think it's OK to wake through the night intermittently and pester me. This means sleep and stress levels have been on overload. I have been using the Headspace, which focuses on getting you to relax, re-centre and take sometime to re-boot wherever and whenever needed. I have to say it has helped immensely. All I need to do now is see how I can get it to work on the children!

I also love Wallapop. Living in Spain, I find not all websites translate so well. Previously, I was always a huge fan of eBay but Wallapop is my new go-to for buying or selling pre-owned articles and for shopping in general. It gives you all the benefits of selling in the same way and finding what you need locally to where you are.

I cannot live without the Citymapper. In some ways I now use this app instead of Waze or other navigation apps. I love the accuracy and mode of transport options.

Jess’s internet hero… Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the internet and still a Professor at MIT. Without him, the internet wouldn’t exist.

Caroline’s internet hero… Anyone who has made something good by using the internet for a worthwhile or personal cause. There are so many unsung heroes who now have a chance to do good in the world because they have the tools of the internet to enable themselves.

Jess’s favourite podcasts… Anything from TED talks, especially Ted Talks Daily which covers topics from Artificial Intelligence and Zoology to Yogagirl’s Confessions From the Heart and Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place.

Caroline’s favourite podcast... BBC World Service - You can't beat it. For current affairs, history, politics or stories to melt your heart, it is just brilliant.

Jess’s most recent buy online… I’ve just discovered a website called BeachCafe. It’s a one stop shop for summer style with a great selection of gorgeous clothes from Melissa Odabash, Innika Choo, LoveShackFancy and others. I’m heading to Ibiza soon, so am aiming to look like a chilled hippie and not a frazzled mum of three thanks to some new summer clothes. Apart from that, I love a bargain and am always trawling OUTNET and TK Maxx.

Caroline’s most recent buy online… I'm not sure I can admit this as my husband might read this... It was our ten-year wedding anniversary recently. So I bought myself a Cartier watch on the auction site Dreweatts!

Jess’s book just downloaded/ read… A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, which I’m really enjoying. I’m a bit old fashioned and I love going to a bookshop and buying a book. If it’s a good one, I keep it on a shelf alongside other favourites which have bent pages, coffee stains and all. You just can’t do that with a download.

Caroline’s book just read… I love subscriptions and rarely have time to read a book right now. So it's National Geographic, BBC History Magazine and Vanity Fair for me.

Jess’s favourite tweeter… I’m not into Twitter at all. I have just never “got” it, and feel like a bit of a “twit” for not being into it!

Caroline’s favourite tweeter… Donald Trump!

Jess’s favourite instagrammers… @bowelbabe. Deborah rocks. It’s that simple. I follow Lizzie King for her brilliant family recipes. She is doing the Ration Challenge and is eating the same rations that a Syrian refugee family would receive in a ration pack. It’s enlightening, humbling and terrifying and an amazing way to raise awareness, and money for families in need of help.

I like Celeste Barber for just nailing every single post. I watch her videos so many times, and literally cry with laughter every time. I follow @shitmodelmgmt for brilliant memes about modelling and the fashion world. @masha _theone is one of the most genuine, kind and successful Instagrammers we know and we are lucky enough to call her a friend. Her Instagram is as gorgeous as she is. I like @diet_prada for noticing when fashion brands copy each other and making it amusing.

Caroline’s favourite instagrammer… Celeste Barber - She always puts a smile on my face.

Social media allowed Caroline to meet… So many inspiring people from so many walks of life. Among others, I met Deborah James, also known as Bowelbabe and the fashion stylist Gayle Rinkoff.

Jess’s pet hate online… The fakeness and arrogance of some people who, just because they have gathered a following on a free app and are invited to some press events, behave like arrogant celebrities.

Caroline’s pet hate online... Adverts, adverts and adverts.

Jess’s standout online memories… Caroline and I always pinch ourselves when we are shooting images for a brand and we have styled the entire shoot ourselves. It is such a privilege to work in fashion and we are always so grateful that we get to work together as NotSuchAModelMum. With a combined age of over 80, we are two old ladies still working in the fashion industry, and are so happy to be on this adventure. When Millie Mackintosh from Made in Chelsea reposted a picture of us wearing her now defunct fashion label on Instagram, we sat up and noticed the power of social media. Being part of the @boden_clothing social media Mum campaign was a highlight, as we were amongst awesome people like Mother Of Daughters and Dress Like a Mum. Caroline and I felt like total social media imposters.

Caroline’s Standout online memory... The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. That Dress!

Jess’s advice to a beginner blogger is… to just go for it and see where it takes you. Don’t be scared and put the work in. It’s not easy, and you can expect to have a love-hate relationship with blogging and social media, but it is so rewarding on so many levels.

Caroline’s advice to a beginner blogger is... be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into it if you want to reap the rewards. Always find interesting and helpful content for your readers. Most importantly, enjoy it.

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July 2019