About Me & Contact

About Me

When I began this project shortly after getting hitched, I had no idea it would become my ‘other baby’. But, if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well: I don’t believe in half measures. Unfortunately, I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies: ergo, I carry that sentiment over to all aspects of my life…

I didn’t do half measures when I frequented the gym pre-baby, and I still don’t. By which I mean working out once a week is insufficient – so I’m on an official break until I can get back in there and boss it five days out of seven. I can’t just make do with ‘good enough’; I have to do the best I can. I’m all or nothing. Which is great for my clients..not so great for my waistline – I want the whole cake.

I’m incredibly lucky to have found a hobby I love that has surprised me by evolving into a job. Figuratively and literally, I am unapologetically eating the whole damn cake.

About the Family

I’m luckier still to be married to a wonderful man. He’s my greatest champion, and his patience is boundless.

But I am luckiest of all to have our little Devil Pixie, and now our Elfin Angel, who keep us on our toes and bring sunshine into our lives every day.

It’s a bonus that with every newly acquired skill, they just happen to provide me with material for the blog. I couldn’t possibly have known it, but life before our daughters was greyscale. They paint everything they touch with rainbows. (Email me* for the cleaning product I use to remove them from the paintwork.)

Kate Tunstall

About the Blog

So what is UnRefined Prose really about? If I had to sum it up into a cringey mission statement, it would be this:

Promoting mindfulness and gratitude for a more appreciative life – particularly in and of our children; championing gentle and supportive parenting which models the behaviours we wish to foster in our little ones.

In theory, those values *should* shine through in everything I write – because it’s genuinely how I aim to raise our daughters.

There are no qualifications to be a parent. Instead there are badges of honour, of which I have many. I fancy myself as a Girl Guide: Bodily Functions badges – I have them all; Teething – I have several; Terrible Twos (even before my daughter reached that milestone) – I’ve a few. I’m not looking forward to the rites of passage that will see me awarded my Bullying and Boyfriends badges, but hopefully I have a few years reprieve before they’re due.

Seeing that in print, I think parents can actually be compared more closely with freaking superheroes than Guides (or, in the interest of equality, Scouts).

Interrupted at my desk!
Interrupted at my desk!

And superheroes or not, mums are basically Jedis, which is arguably more impressive anyway. Curious as to how I can make such a bold claim? Read this.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading my posts, and stay with us for our sometimes bewildering – and always astonishing – foray into toddlerhood and beyond. If you’d like a little nudge to let you know when I’ve chronicled a new adventure, you can subscribe to email notifications:

Want to know more about the face behind the blog? Here are 10 whymsies (plus a bonus) about me.

Contact & Work With Me

You can reach me using any of the following methods:

Read more about working with me.
Kate Tunstall

*These contact details are also correct if you:

  • Fancy a chinwag to discuss the merits of the chocolate brownie versus the white chocolate and raspberry cake;
  • Need a sparring partner to deliberate with re whether the parent at work should get up in the night, or – completely unrelated – what does and does not constitute humour;
  • Are up for some banter about parenting being the equivalent of Jedi Academy;
  • Need a virtual hug from a mother who KNOWS the torture of sleep deprivation;
  • Simply want to request my media kit.

About the Shop

During the Christmas period of December 2019, I took my foot off the pedal just a little for a well-deserved rest, immediately decided I wasn’t busy enough(!), and by the middle of January 2020, I’d launched my little online store.

Peonies & Peace began selling ethical and sustainable clothing and accessories featuring positive and/or powerful feminist messages for adults and kids, as well as some gender neutral kids clothing. Sadly I was unable to sustain this side of the business because I was let down by two different suppliers and was not prepared to continue disappointing customers. I reluctantly closed the clothing arm of Peonies & Peace in late 2020.

Peonies & Peace now sells wellbeing and positivity journals, as well as a food diary for mums breastfeeding through allergies, all of which I’m incredibly proud.

During the second half of 2020 I added a CMPA food diary and positivity and wellbeing journals. Here’s a little sneak peek at my adult’s journal:

Shop now!

Personal Projects

As well as the things you’ll see me talking about regularly on the blog and running Peonies & Peace, I have other projects I’m undertaking in the background – my labours of love:

Moral Story Books for Children

I’ve recently started a new series recommending moral story books for children. The idea behind it is to share and review children’s books designed to support difficult conversations, which we and other parents love. It’s still early days, but all being well it might just become my proudest achievement.

You can read more about the project here.

My Passions:

Writing

A couple of years ago I published an ebook about breastfeeding, which you can read about here. My greatest ambition is to one day have a paperback published properly, because my writing is deemed worthy! I have a couple of ideas that I will eventually get around to working on properly.

Watch this space…

Photography

In 2017 I decided to take part in the Living Arrows linky Donna runs over at What the Redhead Said. I love the concept behind it – and having been treated to a new camera for Christmas, I really wanted to work on my photography. My goal was to link up each week, with my aim being that by the end of the year I’d have a lovely collection of photographs to show for it.

I continued with the project for almost a full year until part way through I became aware of an unscrupulous site scraping my photographs and offering them to download for free as stock images. Considering how careful I’ve always been with showing my girls’ faces, I found that very difficult to deal with. For that reason among others, I made the difficult decision to stop taking part, and I’ve removed all the posts I completed as part of this photography project.

My Positivity Project

Kate Tunstall
The closest I’ll get to Mim till she next visits home…

With the day to day stresses involved with being a parent, it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed, and to combat that in 2018 I ran a mini course, My Positivity Project – with a blogging friend. Mim is an expat living in Australia, so coordinating everything was interesting! The idea behind the project can be summed using my mission statement, which is:

Promoting mindfulness and gratitude for a more appreciative life – particularly in and of our children; championing gentle and supportive parenting which models the behaviours we wish to foster in our little ones.

Supporting parents just like us to live more fulfilled lives was a fantastic feeling. I’ve suffered my fair share of anxiety, so I understand very well how challenging my mindset can be – both for myself and those closest to me.

Whilst enthusiastic about our little community, Mim and I both saw the opportunities brought about by our blogs grow in 2018, and we had to make the difficult decision not to conclude My Positivity Project.

Nonetheless, it was a worthwhile venture which I’m proud to have been a part of.

Maternity Patient Partner

In 2019 I took on this voluntary position for Healthwatch Essex. My role was to help improve maternity services in Essex, both pre and postnatally.

I chose to take this responsibility on following a very difficult and traumatic delivery, followed by a wonderfully healing one; my hope was that I could utilise this platform to advocate for local women and help ensure they’re more likely to experience positive birth experiences like my second.

I greatly enjoyed contributing to vital local services, but after a year I stepped down from the role to focus on my business.

Disclosure

Sometimes I’m sent bits and bobs for review purposes. It’s a nice perk of what is actually a very demanding job.

However, you can rest assured that above all things pretty, sparkly, tasty, divine – the integrity of my blog will always remain my priority.

Yep, even if I had Tiffany banging on my virtual door – still my integrity and the blog.

(Luckily, I hear they have fab products and customer service, so there should be no issues if a Tiffany PR-type is reading this; and yes, it would be my pleasure to review one of your beautiful pieces.)

For full disclosure please visit here.