Sara

When we first started planning our inaugural #StyleAtMine bedroom challenge we immediately knew who we wanted to collaborate with: Sara Tasker of Me & Orla. We’ve long been admirers of Sara’s soulful aesthetic, and nobody does the crumpled sheets look we had in mind quite like her! Luckily Sara is as lovely in real life as we had imagined through social media glimpses of her life, and she made our dream collaboration a reality! We caught up with Sara to chat about her life&work, community hashtags and mama superpowers.

Hi Sara! For those that don’t already know you, tell us a bit more about you
I’m an instagrammer, blogger, photographer and worrier. I have a daughter, Orla, who’s two, and we live with her Dad in an amazing old crumbly mill in Yorkshire, England – our total dream house. We lived in the city until last summer, when we moved to this little village – we’re working on slowing down and simplifying our family life. I blog about a mixture of ‘lifestyle’ topics, but in my mind I am really writing for Orla: my blog is the book I wish I had read as an impressionable teen; it’s all the things I have found in life that I want her to someday know.

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You’re a star Instagrammarian with more than 100k followers, and have recently left your day job to focus on it and your blog full time – wow! Tell us about the journey and the role social media has in your life
It’s been quite a ride! What started as my quiet little instagram account for sharing the time around my daughter’s birth gained a sudden following of 35k thanks to a feature by Instagram, and from there it just grew and grew. People have really connected with what I do, and I really feel I have found my ‘tribe’ and made some incredibly valuable friendships with the help of social media. As my following has grown, blogging and Instagram have opened doors to things I never imagined possible; I feel like I am chasing down dreams I let go of a long time ago, and it’s exciting and terrifying and a total, wonderful privilege.

You collaborated with us on our very first #StyleAtMine challenge in July, and you also run a collaborative hashtag of your own, #MyMonthOfSundays. How do you find this way of connecting with a community?
Hashtags are a brilliant way of connecting with fellow instagrammers & navigating through the vast community, though it can be tricky to predict what will happen. The best hashtags are those that inspire people to shoot and share – for both #MyMonthOfSundays and #StyleAtMine there’s room for people to interpret the tag in their own way, and still join in with a bigger project. When I’m low on creativity I find browsing the posts tagged with my favourite hashtags always brings in a rush of inspiration – I love seeing how differently people can interpret the same few words.

Sara's #StyleAtMine bedroom styling

Sara’s #StyleAtMine bedroom styling

How did you chose the winning entry of #StyleAtMine’s bedroom challenge?
I chose the winner at{Chocolate Creative} because it seems like such a sweet and personal look, as well as being also really achievable. There were some fantastic entries from people with really amazing, dramatic spaces, and they’re a total dream to look at, but I liked this shot because it took a very simple and ordinary spot and made it something special.

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Sara’s favourite #StyleAtMine entry

​​​August is all about the Kids room at at{mine} and we are featuring a some awesome creative mothers from our community here on our blog. How did having your daughter Orla change your life?
Becoming a mother changed everything for me. It changed so many of my preconceptions about life and about the world, and taught me a whole new set of priorities. I took a year off from my day job when Orla was born; it’s a very demanding time, and for that whole year and beyond I felt I put all my needs and wants second to hers. Somewhere in there I began to reconsider what it was I was actually wanting, and as my time and freedom gradually returns, I’m using it with more focus and purpose than I ever did before.

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What is your Mama superpower and what do you admire in other creative mums you engage with on social media?
My mama superpower is definitely empathy – the reason I did so well in Speech Therapy (my old day job) for so long was because I could understand what a child wanted to express without them needing to say it. As a Mama I find tuning into Orla’s feelings and perspective is the secret for peace and harmony.

I have total envy for the chilled out, low stress mamas I know on social media – mothers with large broods of gorgeous kids who don’t stress out and snap, and do such an amazing job. They’re an inspiration to me every day – and, because this is the internet and we’re all human, occasionally a standard to criticise myself against.

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Please share a peek into Orla’s room with us!
Orla’s room is currently a corner of our huge bedroom, sectioned off with curtains. Our entire top floor is open-plan up in the eaves of the building, and we’re reluctant to carve it up permanently until we can get an architect to really help us think it through.

She has a little white wrought iron bed piled with with blankets and pillows from my childhood and knitted as gifts when she was born. She has a reading tent with sheepskins and fairy lights, and all of her books at easy reach by the stairs. I keep a little toy box for her in every room, so upstairs she has a wicker picnic basket to stash her things in, and a few toy animals and trinkets on display in a little dollhouse shelf. There’s a decal above her bed that says ‘keep the wild in you’ – a big message for us all, I think.

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Thanks so much for the candid interview Sara!

//Images: at{Sara Tasker} with additional images courtesy of James Melia Photography; Winning styling: at{Chocolate Creative} //