Author Laetitia Maklouf's Guide To Raising An Awesome Kid

In 2011, before BFFs Kelly Stuart and Violet Gaynor had kids of their own, they launched The Glow — a glimpse into the world of inspiring, stylish moms. Swoon with us as we thumb through the archives in preparation for their next venture: an equally addictive book that'll feel right at home on your coffee table.
For Laetitia Maklouf, the principles of motherhood and gardening go hand in hand. The ethereal plant enthusiast and book author (often referred to as the Nigella Lawson of gardening) describes the striking similarities: “Nurturing a garden is very much like bringing up a child: You try to give the plants what they need in order to thrive, but only they can do the growing.” With her poetic approach to plants, it’s no surprise that she was immediately drawn to the lush and sprawling outdoor space of the London townhouse she shares with her husband and daughter.
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Upon moving in, this soon-to-be mom of two quickly set about planting a wild mix of sentimental flowers — like fragrant lilacs which bloom in May, the same month Jemima was born. This multi-tasking mama finds beauty in life's simplest pleasures, and admits that her proudest moment so far as a mom was when her little girl "pointed to a tree and said 'magnolia!'"
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Jemima, four, April 2013
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
A Few of Laetitia's Favorite Things

"My garden; my Kindle; chocolate buttons." Blouse: Whistles
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Laetitia's Garden

Lilac: "Because it blooms in May, when my daughter was born."

Snowdrops: "They arrive when everything feels bleak and wintery."

Rosa "The Alnwick:" "These have the most exquisite scent that makes me go weak at the knees. I'd go for roses over diamonds any day (though both would be good)."

Dandelions: "They came up in my lawn without my permission, like blobs of sunshine, and cured me of my color snobbery."

Forgetmenots: "My daughter picks them and presents them to me in her chubby little hands."

Snakeshead fritillaries: "I planted the bulbs thinking they'd never grow, and they did."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
A Few of Jemima's Favorite Things

1. Favorite thing about your home: "Mummy has lots of flashlights and there are lots of trees in the garden."

2. Favorite part about growing up in London: "Going to the dinosaur museum."

3. Favorite food: "Fish fingers and ketchup, and peas and broccoli."

4. Favorite thing to do with your mom: "Tickling and painting."

5. Favorite music: "Old MacDonald Had a Farm."

6. Favorite book character: Maisy from "Sweet Dreams Maisy, because I love the moon."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
For Kids' Books, Toys, and Clothes

Favorite book: "Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak"

Favorite toys: "Russian Dolls, skipping ropes, Reading Eggs app"

Favorite clothing brands: "Joules and Gap Kids"
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"I wish I was better as pretty much everything! I wish most of all that I could slow down and stop and stare with her. This doesn't come naturally to me and I have to make a conscious effort to do it. My brain seems constantly to be wanting to get on to the next thing. Also, I wish that I was better at playing." Laetitia: Dress: Topshop
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
A photo of Laetitia's mom sits atop her vanity.

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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"She's very silly and a bit bossy, which I'm glad about, and she has an acute sense of how other people are feeling, which I wish she didn't." Tutu: Dana Dance
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"When I'm with my child, I'm really with her. And when I'm working, I make sure she's otherwise engaged. I work much more efficiently now. Being a mother turns you into a seriously focussed human being."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"My most humbling parenting moment so far was the first time I lost it, and she told me to calm down. I apologized to her immediately."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"It's easy to think of small plants like babies — they are completely dependent on you. Nurturing a garden is very much like bringing up a child: You try to give the plants what they need in order to thrive, but only they can do the growing. You can try and impose some kind of order on the space, but in the end, the plants will do their own thing. They live right in the moment."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"The hardest part about being a mom is realizing just how very fallible I am. Being a mother brings out the very best and the very worst in me."

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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"The biggest surprise for me is that I feel just as clueless as my kid most of the time."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"Since having Jemima, I have become even more slapdash (if that's possible). Before I was a gardener and a mother, I was a bit of a color snob. Now, I'm a passionate advocate of rainbow palettes!"
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Jemima wearing a dress that was Laetitia's as a child, and handmade by her grandmother.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
One of Jemima's favorite things to play with.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Beauty

"Pony tail, blush, moisturizer."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"I made this in Photoshop for my husband when we first met. We both have a thing for baby elephants. Now it lives in Jemima's room."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"I'm the strict one. My husband lets her get away with murder. Whenever they go out together, she comes back with chocolate around her mouth."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"It's important she knows that her mother has her own stuff going on — a job that she loves. I'm not just on earth to be her mother, I'm a person in my own right. I also make sure to tell her that her body is miraculous and beautiful, no matter what size or shape it is."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"My favorite part of the day with her is first thing in the morning, when she gets into bed with us."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"There is no right or wrong. I just do the best I can."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"I like running (when I'm not pregnant!). It's difficult to fit it in, but my husband loves to exercise, too, so we usually play tag team with the childcare on the weekend so everyone gets a go." Shoes: Disney Store
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Laetitia's old doll house, now occupied by Jemima.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"My proudest moment was when she pointed to a tree and said 'magnolia!'"
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"I make sure to teach her that good manners and kindness give you more power than anything else."

NEXT: Designer Meredith Kahn Has The Most Adorable Daughter
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