We interviewed the beautiful Mandie Gower Editor of Zest magazine, the UK’s leading healthy lifestyle mag. Mandie lives in Tooting with her husband Nick and daughter Pearl, and is currently pregnant with her second child.
What’s the favourite part of your job, as Editor of Zest?
Standing back at the end of the month and looking at the completed issue on my wall before it goes to press – it’s so satisfying to see all our ideas bought to life and all the work come together. Every month starts with a blank wall which can seem quite daunting, but it always gets done! Social media has also bought a new sense of fulfilment to my job – I love talking to readers on Twitter or seeing their feedback from our latest reader events on Facebook. It really shapes what we do as a brand.
What’s on top of your to-do list this week?
At work; finish the November cover and start planning our January and February content – yep, Christmas is already over in magazine-land. Approve the clothes for our fashion shoot trip to the New Forest and liaise with our web developers about changes to zest.co.uk
At home I’m knee deep in nanny admin – organising holiday cover, maternity leave – it’s all happening.
How do you switch off?
Usually I’d go for a run then have a really long shower and pamper myself with a lovely body cream – but at five months pregnant it’s a long bath, curling up with a magazine or frankly just having an early night that does it for me right now!
Do you have a favourite family recipe?
You can’t beat roast chicken – I buy organic, then spread the cost by making a vat of soup from the leftovers with plenty of herbs, crÃ¨me fraiche and white wine.
What’s your number one beauty tip?
Body brushing – it really works!
Where’s your favourite holiday destination?
The Maldives will always have a special place in my heart as it’s where my husband proposed during a desert island picnic. I also love the Lulworth Cove area in Dorset – we hire a big house with friends and go on coastal walks, have pub lunches and get as much invigorating sea air as possible.
What’s your idea of a perfect family weekend?
A lazy breakfast of blueberry pancakes with my husband and daughter, a stroll over Tooting Common or along Northcote Road in Battersea, and perhaps a visit from friends or family in the afternoon. No commute, no deadlines, just simple quality time.
How to you find a balance in juggling your work and home life?
To be frank, it isn’t balanced – I spend 5 days a week at work – so I suppose accepting that saves a lot of heartache. But when I walk through the front door I’m 100% there – if I need to check my Blackberry or let off steam about the day, I do, but it waits til my daughter is in bed. For me it all works because my husband and I approach home life as a team – both of us work full time, so we share the domestic duties equally. We take it in turns to get home on time for the nanny, get our daughter up and dressed, take time off if the childcare falls through, make dinner, organise a babysitter etc and it seems to create a balance of sorts. I couldn’t do it without him and our brilliant nanny who mucks in around the house too.
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?
A musical star, which (after much training) my daughter learnt signalled sleep time. It’s made the bedtime routine so much easier and she still loves it today.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Driven, determined, and – oh, sod it, desperate for a lie down this week. Pregnancy with a toddler is hard work!