Mama Muse: Leah Bradley
Mama Muse is my monthly feature where I chat with creative moms I admire. It may be anyone rad and inspiring - entrepreneurs, travelers, artists, photographers, musicians, foodies and anyone else who seems to be able to do it all while making it look easy and stylish! Give me all the secrets and advice - I can use it! xx Julia
Leah Bradley is mama to sweet girl Zippy with a little dude on the way and wife to Jakeh. She is a photographer, model, vintage curator for the California Edit of Bohème Goods and a lover of world travel. You can usually find her on the beach with her crew somewhere in Southern California. Basically all of my favorite things so you can see why I was so stoked to work with her on this shoot and get her insights into mama-hood! Follow Leah at @leahpbradley on Instagram.
Leah's outfit details: yellow romper is by Zulu & Zephyr / trench coat: Bohème Goods / beret: Brixton / straw hat: Brixton / yellow dress: Amuse Society via Mimi & Red / tank dress: Knot Sisters via Mimi & Red
Photos by Jamie Street
What do you admire most about your child?
Her sweet demeanor and free spirit. Wherever we go Zippy is running up to offer a flower or toy to another child, or if she hears a baby crying she tries to rock them. She's got the sweetest temperment and makes others smile wherever she wanders to. I also absolutely love how independent and free spirited she is, she's not afraid to do anything and is always up for a challenge. I grew up in a house full of strong, independent women so I hope to create the same environment for her and raise her up to be one tough girl ready to take on anything.
What are some of your favorite ways to instill creativity into your child's play?
I spend most of my days outside with Zippy in nature, this I feel is the best way to blossom her creativity. We've spent hours on the beach collecting shells, wandering through fields placing wildflowers in our basket, and chasing bunnies and squirrels on our walks. She really is happiest outside and most of the time doesn't even notice her toys if she's found a great big leaf or stick to play with instead. It's amazing watching the games she comes up with as she explores like a little wild child.
Best piece of parenting advice you've gotten?
The best piece of advice I've learned on my own is to put away all distractions and focus on interacting with your precious little child. With social media and easy access to emails etc it's easy for me to get distracted and caught up with what's happening everywhere while missing sweet moments right in front of me. I'm a working mama so I've had to find a way to balance it all, but at the end of the day I've realized this is such a short season of life I get to spend with this tiny friend that I'd much rather spend time with her than on my phone worried about working or keeping my Instagram up to date. I dedicate certain times to working, but the rest of my day I am present with my daughter and able to get creative with her and bond with her so I can help mold her into the amazing woman she is meant to be.
Why is travel important to you and your family?
I love traveling with our little family as it exposes my little girl to other cultures and ways of life. It's easy to get caught up in a bubble and think there's one way of doing everything (especially parenting), but I feel like I've learned so much from watching how other cultures do things. I remember driving through a jungle road in Ecuador seeing a group of moms selling home goods they had made with their own hands, when we pulled over we saw their sweet little babies all hanging out in a hammock, playing while their mamas were hard at work. They were barefoot, little beach babies, and I honeslty have never seen happier little faces. I want my children to always be open to adventures and learning about the amazing world and cultures all around us.
When you travel with Zippy, are there any activities that take priority for you? (I.e. I always make sure we do a hike, find the best local ice cream shop, etc)
My husband is a surfer so we tend to not stray far from the beach on our, but in the rare occasion that we do, we always make sure to stay somewhere that has great outdoor activities for her. We recently stayed on a farm in Austria and each morning we followed around our hosts as they milked the cows, collected eggs, and fed the bunnies. Zippy absolutely loved it and spent hours watching all the animals which munching on some wild raspberries or as they call them himbeeres in German!
What are you looking forward to most about adding a little dude to your crew?
I can't wait to watch Zippy become a big sister! I know it may take a little while, but I'm so excited to see they play and learn together. I'm so close to all of my siblings and can't wait to see that special bond develop with my two minis.