A former shopping editor at Loulou magazine, Liv Judd Soye, @livjudd, is a style, beauty and lifestyle expert who makes TV appearances on shows such as The Marilyn Denis Show and Breakfast TV. In her own words, she’s an aficionado of all things beautiful, traveler, gourmet, period drama buff and mum of two girls, Malin, three-years old, and one-year old Vendela. Today she’s a work-at-home-mom who’s finding her stride and says it it takes friends and her supernanny to help her keep it together.
I’ve only been freelancing for four months and I love being at home. Just before nap time, the girls crawl onto my lap and give me a hug. When they wake up, they come to say hi and ask to play with my lipstick. I live for these moments. When I was working, I saw them for maybe an hour at the end of the day, and now I get to drift in and out of their little worlds all day long. It turns out I want to hear their little footsteps while I’m on a conference call or doing research for a TV segment.
But I can’t be a work-at-home mom without help. I have Emily, our nanny. She’s a necessity and we make room in our budget for her. My mother and sister live in Europe, my brother lives nearby but has a packed schedule, and my dad lives in Saskatchewan, where I grew up. On my husband’s side, his dad has passed away, his mom is at the age where she can’t be as active with our kids as she would like to be and his siblings are just as busy as us (a few even have their hands full with grandchildren). So Emily is more than a caregiver, she’s their auntie—a part of the family. We’re so thankful for her.
I admit, working from home was hard at first. I cried my eyes out on my last day at the office; it really felt like a break-up but making the change also brought new opportunities. Right after, I got offered a cool project, which I snapped up and soon more and interesting jobs started coming my way. I still exercise my creativity and go to press events and shoots…I still feel like me and sane and like a woman, except I get to see the girls more often. Any anxieties I had are gone. I know home is where I’m meant to be.
Motherhood didn’t come easy either. After Malin, I definitely had postpartum depression. At the time, I didn’t realize it and I didn’t want to talk about it. I was crying constantly and when the doctor asked how I was doing, I lied and said I was fine. I was living in this deep, dark world. When Malin started sleeping through the night, a routine started to emerge…that’s when I finally started to see a light at the end of the tunnel and things got better. Being a new mom was so amazing that I decided to have another baby.
By the time I had Vendela I didn’t worry about getting post-partum depression again because I had adjusted to life with a new baby. Maybe because I accepted the lack of sleep and didn’t miss going out for dinner at eleven at night or sleeping until two in the afternoon. Looking back, I know I was spoiled and self-indulgent before I had kids. By the time Vendela was born, having a new baby wasn’t such a shock to me. It gets better. I can’t say it enough.
“By the time I had Vendela, I didn’t worry about getting post-partum depression again because I had adjusted to life with a new baby.”
It helped me a lot when I joined a mommy group in my neighbourhood. The women I met after Malin was born saved me. Once I joined, I was relieved to share my experience and hear about all their ups and downs. When I was pregnant with Vendela, many of my colleagues and friends were expecting, too and I said ‘We have to meet once a week.’ When I went back to work, this group continued on without me. It was hard to say goodbye to them and sometimes I still drop in just to say hi and catch-up.
HOME TOUR A family home full of stylish flair
“I’ve always loved art and design. I studied fine arts at the University of Saskatchewan.” Liv’s own works decorate the entranceway.
A nook in her family-friendly living room shows off photos and memories.
Natch, she colour-codes her bookshelf. Her favourite book on here: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. “It was a delightfully outrageous read about an over-the-top society.”
BK (Before Kids) work wear: Malene Birger Dress (a score at Winners), Nicholas Kirkwood shoes from The Room at Hudson’s Bay and BCBG earrings.
Liv’s desk houses the latest beauty must-haves plus a romantic view of her husband too.
The butterfly motif in Malin’s room began with designer wallpaper from the UK, then slowly more winged creatures appeared over the years.
In Malin’s room, wood blocks spell out her name.
“I hardly wear my high heels now that I’m working from home. I’m obsessed with flats,” says Liv. PS: This is Liv’s old closet. See her amazing reno here of an oddly-used third floor, turned dressing room and office oasis.
MY FAVOURITE THINGS
I have four David Yurman rings that my husband has bought me over the years. He’s got great taste; he picked them out himself and I wear them all the time. He proposed with one of them and then later we chose a more traditional engagement ring. Another, he surprised me with to cheer me up after we lost out on a bidding war for a house I really wanted, one I got after Malin was born and another for Christmas.
My hair was straight and shiny and then I had the girls, and it changed; it got thicker and wavier. I flat iron my hair now with my Rowenta straightener. I only wash my hair every four days, which I’ve learned is healthier for my scalp and hair. When I do wash it, I finish with C-Lab Cashmere Nourishing Oil while my hair is still damp. It makes my hair feel like butter. And I’m a such a big fan of dry shampoo, I even shot a tutorial about it.
I use Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo, just on my roots between washings. From left to right: Tangle Teaser hair brush for Liv and her kids, C Lab Cashmere Nourishing Oil for hair, Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Firming Serum, Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo, Philosophy Purity Cleanser for Face and Eyes, Clear Start Emergency Spot Fix.
My go-to cookbooks: I have shelves of cookbooks but these are the ones that I keep right next to the stove. My copy of the Canadian Living BBQ Collection even has pages falling out of it because I use it so often. I buy this one for gifts all the time. It’s great because I can usually find it at Winners. I love the grilled fish burritos on page 381, except I cheat and use a pre-cut and -washed coleslaw mix to save time, and then I add the guacamole from The Joy of Cooking.
My travel companion: We travel a lot with the girls because my family lives in so many different time zones. We have a compact window shade that we use to block the light when it’s time for the girls to go to sleep. We even pack black garbage bags and duct tape, just in case the shade doesn’t fit. Both have been lifesavers to help them keep their nap and sleep times in check after we land. It helps them adjust faster to their new time zone.
HER SPRING MUST-HAVES
A Metallic brogue. “Chasing after two toddlers means heels are a thing of the past. I’m all about chic flats. These metallic brogues would go with everything and I love the striped detailing along the sole. It’s just enough detail to make them interesting.” Metallic woven leather brogue, $129.99, marshalls.com
Double sided front back earrings. “These earrings are simply striking. They are an update on a classic stud that can be worn two ways.” Rose gold and pearl double stud earring. $264. Thomas Sabo. thomassabo.com