Cat Sims – @notsosmugnow
Instagram Queen, Blogger & Podcaster Cat Sims has us all in stitches with her real-life takes on lockdown life. She is never one to shy away from telling it as it is and pretty much saying what everyone else is thinking! We thought Cat was the perfect lockdown interviewee as her content is so relevant and if you are not already following…why not?!! Follow Cat’s Instagram HERE.
Can you give our readers a little insight into your background, what would you say was your biggest achievement to date and what keeps driving you forward.
I think this year has been transformative for me in a lot of ways. In terms of achievements I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to take control over my mental health. For a lot of years anxiety controlled me but I feel like that has shifted and I’m proud of fighting through feelings of shame to get there. I’m also proud of the community that I’ve built on social media. This year has been terrible in so many ways, but it’s given me space to really find my voice and built a community online that I really feel like I’m supporting through humour and honesty.
Your podcast ‘TV my husband hates’ is all about reality TV and indulging our guilty TV cravings…what is your current no.1 watch and ultimate list of shows we need in our lives whilst we are all locked down.
I know I’m late to the party on this one but I’m currently obsessed with Married at First Sight Australia. I’ve jumped straight into the latest season 6 and cannot stop watching. The other night I dragged myself to bed at 1.30am because I couldn’t turn it off. I paid for that the next morning – nothing like homeschooling and working on 4 hours sleep – but it’s such an interesting experiment and because I talk a lot about the realities of marriage and relationships on Instagram I find it fascinating.
On TV My Husband Hates we discuss some of the best reality shows and go deep into the big issues that they bring up. We’re currently watching Real Housewives of Altanta, Dallas, Salt Lake City plus Below Deck and Southern Charm. This year means we’re talking a lot about white privilege and issues surrounding racism but we also talk about relationships, mental health, sex, motherhood and a ton of other real life things that we’re all dealing with. Our motto is that ‘smart people watch reality tv too’ – we know that reality TV gets a bad rep but the podcast discusses it in a way that makes it relatable to all the things we’re dealing with. It’s also a bit sweary and funny!
If you could go on a ‘social distanced’ walk and gossip with one other person right now, (not friend or family member) who would you choose and why?
I’d love to take Matt Hancock and Pritti Patel on a socially distanced walk up a remote mountain and through a dark forest and leave them there. In fact, at the risk of getting too political, I’d throw in Gove, Johnson and the rest of them too.
Do you miss travel? Where will be the first place that you book a trip to once we are free to fly again?
I miss travelling so much. The thought of flying seems so alien to me at the moment. I’d even be happy with being able to drive to the ocean or to see my parents in Devon or my family in Yorkshire. That being said, I’m turning 40 in July and I have everything crossed that we can fly to the Greek Islands and spend a fabulous two weeks eating olives, drinking wine, sunbathing and swimming. Who knows whether I’ll be able to do that. There’s every chance I’ll have to try and recreate the magic of Santorini in Harrow. What could possibly go wrong?
Are you a spender or a saver? What was the last thing you spent over £50 on? Share with us!
I’m honestly both. I believe in saving and put 30% of everything I earn into a separate account. That pays for tax but there’s always something left over and I LOVE spending that and treating myself. What’s the point in working all the hours if you don’t get to enjoy what you make? My husband is definitely a saver and struggles to justify spending money on anything so we work well together. I encourage him to treat himself and he reigns me in when I’m about to spend £300 on the Zara. Website.
The last thing I spend £50 or more on (excluding groceries) was a HUGE purchase. One of the biggest I’ve made! I bought a Peloton and while it was ridiculously expensive, it’s been worth every penny. I’m exercising every day – I NEVER thought that would be the case – and during lockdown it’s been a godsend. I always say that I exercise for my head and my arse just comes along for the ride, and the Peloton is perfect for that.
Your hubby is a musician so we know that music is important to you…Which song evokes the most memories for you? The one that stops you in your tracks when you hear it?
When we got married, Jimmy organised a surprise for me during the reception. He and his musician mates played Prince’s Purple Rain. Jimmy sang and played guitar. It was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I remember looking over at my brother in law who is super cool and notoriously composed and he had a gin in one hand, a lighter swaying in the other and a single tear of joy running down his cheek. It’s also become a thing of legend because absolutely no body thought to film it. I think it was such a powerful moment that no one thought of getting their phone out. It still gives me chills to think about it.
The other song is one by our favourite band called Vulfpeck. The song is called Half of the Way. I took Jimmy to New York in 2019 for his 40th and coincidentally Vulfpeck were playing at Madison Square. He couldn’t believe I’d managed to get tickets.
We were coming out of a rough 3-4 years in our marriage and this concert really felt like such a turning point. We both realised how much we needed and wanted each other so that song means the world.
Ok – lets talk fashion and Beauty… Whose personal style do you really admire?
There’s no particular style that I prefer but I love it when I see confidence in people’s style. I really admire it because it took me a long time to be comfortable in my own style. I was constantly trying to recreate looks of other people.
Now I still get inspired but I’ve stopped trying to recreate – it just doesn’t work. I do love Erna Leon’s (@mercer7official) style – she always looks so chic and stylish.
I also love @annacascarina who’s doing amazing things for older women like me and beyond and inspiring them to own their own style. So many brands that I’ve loved for a long time, forget about women once they get over 40 and assume we’ll just move seamlessly to buying pedal pushers and a breton top but that’s not what we want and Anna’s doing cool stuff for all budgets.
Do you follow a strict skincare regime? Can you share with our readers?
No – I’m the worst. The only thing I do is make sure I take my make up off every night and I moisturise – even if I’m hammered!
I’m currently using a Malin & Goetz cleansing oil that I bought when I got a big payment in but that’s about to run out! I’ve also got a face wash that I stole (she knew about it!) from Natalie Lee (@stylemesunday). She has an amazing drawer full of beauty products that she’s been given and she let me have a rummage around in it! Occasionally I splash out on nice stuff, but mostly I’ll just grab a face wash and moisturiser in the supermarket.
I am considering trying Botox – I know that’s probably controversial. I think I’m more curious about it than anything else. I’d just love to know if it actually makes a difference to how I look but also whether it makes a difference to how I feel. I’m so interested!
What is the latest item you purchased for your makeup bag?
I actually invested in some new make up brushes. I’m nearly 40 and I’ve always had crappy cheap brushes, so I recently bought some nice ones!
Is there one product you have used since your teens that you just can’t let go?
Anything that makes my eyebrows look decent. Even if I don’t put anything else on, I’ll always make sure my eyebrows are on fleek!
What is your favourite lip colour? Brand and shade?
What is your desert island product that you couldn’t live without?
Finally…As we are now in lockdown again – although it does feel slightly different from the first time, is there one piece of advice you could give our readers that helps you when you are stressed and anxious?
Lower all your expectations. Take the fucking pressure off. Do what you can and absolutely no more.
Homeschooling and working and trying to look after yourself isn’t just hard; it’s impossible. If it all gets too much, I have learned (through a load of bloody therapy!) to simply ask for what I need. I might tell Jimmy that I just need an hour to have a bath behind a locked door, or that I need a nap or a walk. I have faith in the fact that I work as hard as I can for myself and my family so asking for a break here and there is perfectly reasonable. He knows he can do the same too. I also have no problem throwing down tools and putting everyone in front of a screen because I can sense we all need a break.
There’s so much pressure on us (without a pandemic) to be the perfect parents and that pressure is still there but now it’s even less attainable than it’s ever been so stop chasing it. Be gentle on yourself.
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