Today I would like to introduce you to another lovely writer, Sarah Deeks. Sarah is a mother, blogger, and former teacher from the UK. She’s such a joy, I hope you’ll enjoy meeting her.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got to where you are.
Living an hour away from London in England, I was a primary school teacher for ten years. I left teaching last year after having my third baby to take some time to focus on my young family.
Much as I love spending time with my kids, I did feel something akin to an identity crisis; teaching had been a part of me for a long time and I felt a little restless for something else to divert my energies to.
So I decided to get back into writing, something I’ve enjoyed on and off since childhood days. I set up my blog, Live Chic and Well, last year which is themed on living a happy, beautiful life regardless of one’s budget and that spurred me on to start writing a book.
2. What is your current writing project? And how do you fit writing into your daily schedule with young children?
As well as writing weekly blog posts, I am working on a part memoir, part lifestyle book about my experience of living in Italy as an au pair in my late teens. This was an experience that affected me profoundly. The Italian women had such an innate sense of style and everyone there presented themselves and everything in their lives so elegantly. It opened my eyes to an elevated way of living- that I am finally writing about now.
In terms of fitting writing in, I take full advantage of my toddler’s nap times to crack on with writing. Because the time is limited, I am ruthless about using it well and stow my phone and other distractions well away from my desk. I aim to write 500 words a day, very modest by the standards of many authors but the words are slowly but surely stacking up and my book is taking shape. I hope to publish it in October.
3. Where would you most like to travel and why? Also, which have been your favorite travel destinations so far?
That’s a tough one, as there are so many places on my list. Japan holds a strong allure for me as it presents as a country full of contrasts (hyper modern in some ways with the bullet trains and advanced technology yet also has fascinating, old traditions such as geishas). In terms of culture Japan seems a little exotic and a slight air of mystery so I’d love to explore it.
I count myself as very fortunate to have already visited many European cities due to the relatively close proximity of them to the UK. The rich and varied history in Europe stretching back for centuries fascinates me. In particular I loved Rome, Istanbul and Lucerne (in Switzerland).
4. What is one thing that you think people would be surprised to know about you?
Despite being British, I am not at all partial to drinking tea. My mother can’t understand where she went wrong with me! Only very recently, I tried drinking green tea with a hint of cherry and I can just about drink that but still can’t bear ordinary black tea.
5. What do you do to care for yourself and make yourself feel happier or more fulfilled?
Strangely enough, since I started writing again I have felt far more fulfilled. Having a chance to spend time on a creative outlet is important to me and writing appeals the most to me personally. Lots of people tend to find that ‘flow” state when they relax into a creative hobby, whether it be drawing, sewing or writing and it is so beneficial for our well-being.
Other than that, taking an evening to pamper myself with a long hot bubble bath, paint my nails and apply a face mask never fails to make me feel uplifted.
6. What is your #1 tip for creating a happier home life?
Get organised! A few years ago my husband and I went round the whole house and devised optimal storage solutions for every cupboard. I am a huge fan of labelling everything and my labeling machine gets a lot of use in making labels for shelves and boxes throughout our home. If there is a clear, labelled place for everything to be stored then it makes it easier for kids to play their part in tidying up and keeping things neat.
If my surroundings are tidy and calm, it goes a long way to helping me feel relaxed and happy.
Thank you Sarah. Your book about being an au pair in Italy sounds so fun– we wish you the very best of luck!