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Woman We Love: Leona Panutat
Full-time mom and ½ of The Inspiration Seekers dynamic duo Leona Panutat knows how it is to be a busy mom/chauffer/tutor and cheerleader to two active boys with jam packed schedules. Her day begins at 5am to get her eldest ready for school and not a minute longer, she’s out of the house for drop off number one. Some few hours later, after she has a power breakfast and maybe get in a paragraph or two on a new post for their blog, it’s then time for drop off number two. For days when she has events to attend, she makes sure the kids are taken cared of, done with their homework and had their favorite merienda. It seems a lot if observed by an outsider, as she usually documents her activities on IG stories often starting by 6am. What’s refreshing is she does it with a lot of humor, self-deprecation and enough realness that proves being a mom isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.
Knowing all this, we wanted Leona to road test our best-selling Camden Market tote for a full day of activities, pairing it with her #ootds with a challenge---wear the bag (and the same pair of slacks) for different scenarios and making sure they all work together. To say she nailed it is an understatement! With just a simple switch of footwear, top, clever layering and a touch of color, she made it seem so easy, and more importantly, doable. Naturally, we had to ask her how she manages to have fun and smile through it all, so here’s a day in the life of this beautiful and very practical mama side by side with the trusty Camden tote.
6:30am: Ready to head out and drop off her eldest Wyatt in a comfy knit sweater, sneakers and baseball hat (gotta keep the sun away) with a coffee in one hand and the Camden Market in the other.
11:00am: Dressed and looking forward to brunch with the girls with a quick change of top and accessories. We love the pop of print and color via her Jim Weaver silk scarf that’s locally designed by Filipinas.
3:30pm: Off to a fashion event in a cute café wearing a navy blazer and pumps---with the tote still on point!
7:45pm: Borrowed her hubby’s shirt for dinner + cocktails for much-needed date night with no time to spare. The jacket comes in handy for the cold and can easily be kept in the tote if it gets warmer.
MORE ABOUT LEONA
1. As a busy mom, what qualities do you look for in a hardworking bag? Does the Camden Market fit the bill?
First of all, it needs to be versatile. I'm constantly running around from one school drop off- appointment-errand-event to the next that I need a bag that I can tote around to all of those different places. The Camden Market's clean lines, classic shape and gorgeous hazelnut color make it an easy choice when it comes to mixing and matching with pretty much anything in my wardrobe. Second, it needs to be roomy. With a schedule as unpredictable as mine, I need to be able to basically carry my whole life and my kids’ as well in my bag. This bag easily stores my laptop, wallet, makeup kit, camera, sunnies, snacks and emergency toys for the boys. Lastly, it needs to be sturdy. With the amount of stuff I lug around, I need a beautifully made bag that can withstand the everyday abuse and look even better with age.
2. Do share some tips on how to maximize the day in such a way that still leaves time for self care.
I have a favorite TED talk episode where the speaker talks about time being elastic and that we can always find time to do things that we want if we make it a priority. My favorite line from the whole speech is this: "Time is a choice, we have the power to fill our lives with the things that deserve to be there.” And I could not agree more. I’m currently on driver duty for my boys which means I do drop offs, pick ups and shuttle them back and forth to their after school activities. However, there are pockets of time in between that I can use for either running errands, writing or even working out. It really depends on what is more important for me that day. The key is knowing that if you say yes to something, that also means that you’re saying no to something else and that is totally ok. So instead of picking up my phone and going down the Instagram rabbit hole (which I must admit can be pretty hard to resist sometimes), I could work on a blog post instead. It can also mean choosing to miss the boys' bedtime to have a proper date with my husband or a catch up session with my friends. Choose what you want to prioritize that day and stick to it. Some days are easier than others but what’s important is that you try to carve out some time for yourself to relax, recharge and not feel guilty about it.
3. Fashion-wise, how should a mom plan her outfit if she has a full day of different activities?
I personally go for comfort over all. If I’m going to be running around town doing all sorts of things, I need to be comfortable. Who wants to be tugging at an ill-fitting but fabulous top while waiting for football practice to be over? Wear pieces that can be dressed up or down with a quick change of accessories. Let’s say your day calls for school drop off, pick up, and date night with the husband, instead of my usual jeans and white tee combo, I could sport high waist cropped pants paired with a lightweight sweater and sneakers during the day then switch it up with a slouchy button down and heels at night.
4. Smart shopping tips that one can apply when they’re on a budget.
a. Invest in the very best basics you can afford. You will be wearing these time and time again.
b. Know your lifestyle and your personal style and stick to it. Spotted a super cute pair of running shoes at 70% off? Ask yourself, if it weren’t on sale would you buy it? And in what occasion would you wear it? Because if you don’t work out anyway, then you’re just wasting money.
c. Don’t be afraid to scour the Men’s section for slouchy polos and tees. Just like their watches, sometimes their clothes look better on us women!
5. What’s In Your Camden Market?
d. Makeup Bag
g. Laptop charger and cords
i. Camera (for event days)
j. Notebook and Pen
k. Random toys for the boys
Interview and photos ANNE BELLA
Check out Leona's blog here.