Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east

I grew up on Sydney’s north shore and spent most weekends enjoying the outdoors at our farm at Dural. I ventured to Sydney’s east in my mid-twenties and, other than a small stint in London have happily been resident ever since!

How many children

I have two thoroughly gorgeous girls – Isabelle (Issie) 9 years and Mia 7 years. I am very lucky, my daughters are both such wonderful kids (most of the time!) and the three of us fit together perfectly to create a harmonious life filled with school, work, family and friends. I am a stylist and the creator behind Ainslie Creative as well as the owner of my third passion, a beautiful boutique at Five Ways Paddington called Love Duck, filled with gorgeous finds and treasures to love.

Favourite park

My children grew up on Brown Street in Paddington and the Brown Street park is home to many beautiful memories. As the girls have grown from babies to
now, we have made some of our best friends in this park, always playing, exploring and experiencing family life together. It’s shaded and enclosed,
but most of all, it’s still good fun!

Favourite beach

Our favourite beach in Sydney’s East is definitely Nielson Park. Hands down, this gorgeous enclave on beautiful Sydney Harbour has everything we need to stay cool and calm in the summertime – turquoise waters, beautiful views, ice-blocks and only the odd wave from a passing boat! If we were to venture further afield, I would have to say Whale Beach is a firm favourite.

Favourite kid-friendly cafe

 Apache in Paddington. The owner Tom is fabulous and has created a warm and inviting local café serving delicious Italian-style food. And they love kids, so it’s win, win!

Favourite coffee spot

I don’t drink coffee but love my Earl Grey and the vibe at Luxe Woollahra always hits the spot! The interiors are gorgeous and it feels just a little French – I often have meetings there and pretend to myself that I’m in drinking tea in Paris…mmmmmm…

Favourite date-night spot

The Apollo in Potts Point is an absolute fave. Beautiful interiors, impeccable service and the food is so, so, so good! I’m not sure what is it about this place, but I always have a great night when I go there.

If you could have a day alone in the eastern suburbs what would you do for yourself?

I love a walk around Darling Point and along the water’s edge followed by a mosey around some local vintage and second-hand furniture stores. I find so much inspiration in these out-of-the-way spots.

Favourite local shop

My favourite florist is Buds & Bowers on Crown Street, Surry Hills. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but step inside and it has the freshest, most incredible flowers to tempt you daily. The owner is the most down-to-earth man you will ever meet and can suggest the best floral suggestions ever. A beautiful spot – and who doesn’t like walking out the door with a handful of divine flowers?

Favourite wet weather location

The new Double Bay Library is the bomb! They have a Rolls Royce line-up of interior magazines, not to mention a super kids area and, yes, the slide! Something
for everyone and the staff are extremely helpful.

Work or SAHM

Definitely a working mum! I love to work and always have. I have had such a brilliant career – I worked at Giorgio Armani London and Australia for 10 years, followed by a mind blowing journey as Creative Director with Mecca Cosmetica. I still consult to Mecca (I love the company and the owner) as part of my freelance styling business, Ainslie Creative. My styling business allows me the flexibility to be on board with my girls while at the same time tapping into my never-ending creative energies.

Then a year ago I realized a long-yearned-for dream and opened Love Duck, my little boutique at Five Ways Paddington. I pride myself on sourcing unique finds from around the world, and because dresses are my thing, I have a beautiful range of difficult-to-find pieces with a French-boho feel. I love seeing my customers wearing their new finds with pride, and feel honoured to be able to share my passion with them.

Hands down, Love Duck is the best thing I have done (outside of being a mother of course!). It’s incredibly hard work but I love seeing my customers come in and find a beautiful piece that makes them smile. I love it even more when they call me or post on Instagram that “no one has ever commented on my look before I shopped at Love Duck, but now they do!

As women, we all want to feel good and Love Duck is a business that makes us all feel good. I’m determined to grow the business and expand on the brand this year alongside my styling business. It’s grueling at times but I love it, and would not have it any other way.

Motherly advice

Always put your children first when in their presence, listen to their needs and grow with them. Both parenting and being a child should be a positive journey – I had to remind myself that on the long haul overnight plane recently!

I also believe in doing things that make you happy – it has such an overflowing effect on your family and home life. I love showing my girls that if you set your mind on something and work hard you can achieve it with passion and hard work. It’s incredibly rewarding for parents to feel achievement and for children to see parents doing good things.

Praising your child goes along way. It gives children confidence. In fact, we all need a little praise. Take each day as it comes and congratulate yourself daily for all the good things you do.