What you don’t see on Instagram

What you don’t see on Instagram

It’s been a good couple of weeks since I last wrote a blog post, which is mainly down to being so busy with new and existing social media and PR clients (always a good thing!) that I’ve actually been left feeling creatively depleted.

There have been several nights this past week that I’ve sat staring at a blank screen on my laptop, brimming with ideas, but with no idea how to actually start writing. It’s as though the words have all left my brain, and I’m not even sure how to begin a blog post. Earlier this evening, while making supper and half-watching one of Lily Pebbles’ YouTube videos, she spoke a bit about real life – that is, the behind-the-scenes life of a blogger and YouTuber; the slog of daily living that we, as viewers, aren’t always privy to. We see all the makeup tutorials, exciting projects and collaborations, blogger meet-ups and glitzy dos, but we rarely catch a glimpse of what’s really going on behind the scenes. This completely resonates with me, as I find that I prefer to share pretty, stylised moments over on my Instagram account. It’s not because I want people to think I lead a perfect life; it’s simply down to the fact that I enjoy taking photographs and styling beauty products – and, let’s face it: we all know that the prettier a picture is, the more ‘likes’ you’re likely to get. Although I often post photographs of me without makeup, they’re always filtered to hide my blemishes and dark circles, and I might give you the occasional glimpse of my living room, but you never see the kitchen sink (with good reason – because it’s always piled high to the sky with dirty dishes!)

Lily’s vlog inspired me to give you all a little glimpse behind my Instagram photographs, so I’ll be sharing a few photographs I’ve posted recently, along with what was really going on behind the scenes when I shot them.


This shot of a carefully styled shelf in Beanie’s bedroom was taken after a recent decluttering session, which took place while I was putting together my ‘Simplify Your Life in 28 Days‘ challenge. I set aside a box and filled it with a selection of books and toys that Beanie no longer uses or plays with, that I planned to drop off at a children’s home in our area. But P, the lovely woman who helps me to keep a handle on our home on a weekly basis, didn’t fully understand what I meant when I asked her to leave the box as is, and ended up unpacking the entire box… so we’re back to square one. It’s been a month and I actually can’t bring myself to do it all over again.

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Ah, nap time. Beanie has been threatening to drop his afternoon nap for a good few months now, and although he was fine to go without one during the school holidays (I’m obviously not keeping him busy enough when it’s just the two of us!), now that he’s back at school I’ve noticed that he needs it – whether he thinks he does or not. Without his afternoon nap, he turns into the grumpiest little Bean come 4pm, or he starts to drift off at 5pm… and if he goes down even a minute after 3pm, we’re screwed: that’s a guaranteed bedtime of 11pm (although we’ve experienced midnight bedtimes before as well!) This past week, I’ve actually had to march him to the bedroom and lie down with him to try and get him to nap… some days he’ll fall asleep and wake up in the best mood, other days we’ll literally lie there for an hour until it’s actually too late for him to nap. This shot was taken on one of those afternoons. He may look cute, but boy, was it a rough afternoon (I think the makeup-less face and messy hair demonstrate this perfectly… and this shot is filtered! No filter’s going to hide that exhaustion!)

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Ah, how idyllic my life must look on Instagram – especially when I’m posting shots of my early morning beach walks! What you don’t see is the lovely pile of steaming dog poop that happened mere minutes after I took this shot. Since I’d forgotten to bring my baggies along with me, I had to speed walk back to the car to grab some – while I had strangers glare at me and tell me off for allowing my dog to take a dump on the beach – and when I returned, red-faced with shame, I couldn’t find the frikkin’ turd, regardless of how many times I walked up and down the beach. It’s probably tossing and turning in the waves as I type. Sorry, sorry!

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Confession: both Beanie and I are still in our jammies in this pic. Did I mention that it was taken at 4pm? Being a work-from-home mom during the school holidays is rough, ok? Here I am, in my jams, downing a cup of cold coffee while frantically trying to get some work done and entertain my preschooler at the same time. Oh, and spot the hideous coffee stain that I’ve tried to filter out of this photo… can you tell we’ve been here hundreds of times before? (Also, white carpets are a baaaad idea).

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Gorgeous, happy photograph right? Well, Beanie may have been in his element, but I was feeling pretty frazzled right about now (but not frazzled enough not to get a shot of the beautiful tiles and greenery at Chelsea Village here in Somerset West). This was taken on my first coffee date with my sister-in-law and her four month old baby. We were looking forward to a coffee and catch up like the good old days, but we didn’t get much chatting done in between all the breastfeeding (her), coaxing (me, trying to get Beanie to eat something), trying to calm a screaming baby (her, after Beanie thought that it was hilarious to do his fake laugh and make his cousin cry – picture makes more sense now, right?) and bribing (me, trying to get Beanie to sit still, stop running, stop licking the table… you get the picture). One thing that also stands out from this day is Beanie striking up a conversation with a woman at the table next to ours and telling her off for eating bacon, because “I’m a vegetarian”. He’s not. He loves bacon. But it was a proud vegan-mama moment all the same!

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I was so excited when these beautiful, hand-crafted and vegan-friendly soaps landed on my doorstep that I literally could not wait to snap a pic of them. On my doorstep. Because it’s the only spot on our property that has decent lighting at 4pm in the afternoon. I hauled out a piece of white cardboard, collected some frangipanis from the neighbours front garden (all the while pretending to be teaching Beanie something so as not to look suspicious), and set up the perfect little outdoor studio. Only I didn’t take into account the wind. That effing wind! My little flowers kept blowing away, and the piece of cardboard shot up and whacked me on the side of the head at least 50 times. I also used the ‘f’ word more in 10 minutes than I have in two years, I’m sure. But I think the final pic came out well, don’t you?

PS: Keen to see more and follow me over on Instagram? Just click here and hit ‘follow’.