Families of Instagram #23: geoffreyandgrace

“As grown-ups we can get so caught up in the final product, that we forget the process is really where all the magic happens.” For more thoughts on slow living and family life from Melanie Barnes (@geoffreyandgrace), read on…

Melanie Barnes (or @geoffreyandgrace), 37, lives in Worthing, West Sussex, with her husband Leo and their daughter, Bailey, four. She’s a writer and photographer, and created the UK lifestyle blog Geoffrey and Grace, which focuses on wholehearted and slow living. 

Our mornings are … frantic! I love a slow morning, but now that my daughter has started school, they seem to have gone out the window. We’ve just got through our first half term ever, and I am keen to figure out how we can make our weekday mornings less messy.

My daughter mainly wears … a mix of vintage, homemade, charity shop finds, and I like to support independent labels that have a ‘slow’ fashion ethos. I look for timeless pieces that are well made and will last for years to come. Companies like Nellie Quats, Muny and Little Cotton Clothes create beautiful garments that are handmade, and can be worn for several seasons.

I cope with clutter by … trying to be organised and making sure everything has its place. I loved doing the 30-day minimalism challenge early in the year. I found it to be a great way to get rid of a backlog of clutter. I was a bit of a hoarder in my twenties, and have the tendency to get sentimental about things. Since clearing well over 400 hundred items in only 30 days it can’t help but alter your mindset. I am now more mindful about our shopping choices, and am always looking for ways to simplify our home.

I never leave the house without … a camera of some sort. Whether it’s my Canon 60D or my iPhone, I would hate to be somewhere and be inspired to take a picture, but have nothing to take it with.

When no one’s looking I … breathe out… a moment to sit and do nothing is blissful. I try to find some time each day to meditate. I have found it to be essential to my wellbeing, and it goes along way to keeping me happy and healthy.

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I encourage creativity … by making space for it everyday. It’s so important to prioritise creative play. I encourage it for Bailey, but also for myself. As grown-ups we can get so caught up in the final product, that we forget the process is really where all the magic happens.

I’ll never be able to part with … family holidays. There’s nothing like those slow days, where you have the luxury of time, and can simply see where the wind takes you.

When all else fails we … head outside into nature. We’re ten minutes from the sea, and love to have a noodle on the beach, or we get lost in the woods, or head up on The Downs. A dose of fresh air, and being outdoors in the wild always puts everything into perspective.

Follow Melanie Barnes on Instagram: @geoffreyandgrace