Mother Essentials: Temi Adamolekun, Author, Mother, & PR Pro
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
San Francisco-based mother of one Temi Adamolekun knows a thing or two about “the juggle.” In addition to running her own communications agency, Pembroke PR, which focuses on clients in the design space, she’s also a passionate world-traveler, parent, voracious reader, and—as of today—a newly minted kid-lit author of the board book Your Special Voice. Just in time for her “book birthday,” the Nigerian-born, England-raised multi-hyphenate shares her Mother Essentials list below.
Morning Walks. “It’s hard to beat going for a walk, bright and early, in nature on a daily basis. We live in one of the highest parts of the city and mornings here are just beautiful, magical, and peaceful. That fresh forest air, the light as the sun breaks through over the city—it’s such a great way to start the day. During the week I appreciate the serenity of walking solo and at weekends, sometimes I’ll go with my son, sometimes the three of us go together. The conversations we have when out walking are the best!”
Sunscreen. “See those morning walks? That means my mornings are full of bright and blazing sunshine, so we have to protect our skin. Yes, even those of us blessed with an abundance of melanin need to protect our skin too. I like this brand as it has a few different formats none of which leave a chalky or blue tinge glow in their wake. I like the velvety finish of this one and my son likes the stick.” Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 Limited Edition Jumbo, $44, Supergoop. Glow Stick SPF 50, $25, Supergoop.
Plug-In Earphones. “I don’t have any more brain power to dedicate to items that need to be charged. These earphones never need to be charged and the long cable makes them hard to lose. They have a lightning connector so no need for fiddly adaptors. I’m on calls so much through my work day, and these are always ready to use instantly with no bluetooth delays, no battery issues, and excellent sound quality. Hurrah! And as a bonus, they are very comfortable for my very small ears.” Belkin SoundForm Headphones with Lightning Connector, $29.99, Amazon.
Whatsapp! “This one is my mainstay, as I can easily text, call, and video my family who live in two different continents. My friends are so spread out across the world (Australia, Zanzibar, Italy, UK, Nigeria…) that this is easily my most-used app. The benefit of time differences means those morning walks are often an excellent time to catch up with friends and family around the world. Human connection is such a fundamental part of our wellbeing and I love how vast my network is. It’s also been so fantastic for our son to be able to regularly have video calls with family. It’s such a different level of connection with video calls.”
Little Daily Luxuries. “One of the things that came out of pandemic living for me, was the choice to enjoy little luxuries every day. It’s cliché, considering I grew up in England, but seriously, I drink a lot of tea. There are few things more enjoyable than sitting down in the morning with a mug of hot tea and attacking my inbox. So I upgraded my whole tea process with a really pretty William Morris strawberry thief print tray, a classic and exorbitant milk jug, both of which give me untold joy at tea time many times a day!” Pimpernel Ottoman Tray, $18.99, Wayfair. Royal Copenhagen Blue Flute Plain Pitcher, $165, Bloomingdales.
Hydroflask Water Bottle. “Hydration is key to feeling good! I have the 32 oz. bottle and aim to drink 3 a day. My son has the 20 oz. and we aim for 1 a day as a bare minimum.” Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Bottle with Flex Cap, $25 to $33, Amazon.
Chocolate Fingers. “The absolute best biscuit. I grew up loving these and it’s a delight to see my son love them just as much! An ideal amount of crunch and really good chocolate-to-biscuit ratio.” Cadbury Triple Choc Fingers, $10, Amazon.
World Geography Game. “I grew up obsessed with maps, so it gives me so much joy to see my son is also obsessed. To the extent that his teachers always comment on his excellent world geography skills (bonus). The three of us have had so many fun evenings playing games with this set. We’ve made up many versions of our own games too.” The World Game, $24.90, Amazon.
Ganni Bag. “I might be what you would call a handbag collector (I used to have my own line and have always had a lifelong love of them, thanks Mum!). But all the fancy ones are stashed away and almost never get used anymore (so will most likely find their way to TheRealReal). The bag I keep going back to is so simple and low key. It’s light as a feather, can get completely squashed when packing, and that bow detail on the shoulder is such a fun accent that works well, day or night. It’s roomy enough for my daily essentials and not big enough to get really heavy (I walk a lot).” Ganni Tie Shoulder Bag, $165, Shopbop.
Heated Gloves. “Our son loves to snowboard and we love to support his interest as much as possible, which means I’ve spent more time than I ever could have imagined in the mountains. I started learning to ski a couple of seasons ago, which is more fun than expected, but I’m still a fairweather skier who waits for bluebird days and hates the cold. A roadblock? Or an opportunity? My husband helped me figure out the right gear and got me the coolest ski jacket, but it took me a while to find the right solution to keep my hands warm. Rechargeable heated gloves! I will never experience anything other than toasty fingers while skiing!” Ororo Heated Gloves, $139.99, Amazon.
Dyson Handheld. “I love things being clean and tidy but I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning, so I’ve worked hard to find things that get the job done, excellently, the first time. My brother had one first, and I thought it was just a really expensive hoover. Then I saw it in action, and ordered one immediately. It makes fast clean up of the most delightful flaky croissants and all other tiny pockets of chaos. It’s so easy to use, which also means it’s a great task to delegate to our son.” Dyson Cyclone V8 Absolute, $349.99, Dyson.
Carry-On Case. “A true workhorse of a suitcase. I’m team #CarryOnOnly, so I need my carry-on to be a highly functional, lightweight yet sturdy, and effective machine. This one is rock solid, no bells and whistles, just a really well designed carry-on case that can withstand the savagery that is modern day long-haul travel. Running through airports, on tarmac, on cobbled streets, this thing moves seamlessly on all terrain.” Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, $146.99, Amazon.
Foldable Duffle Bag. “I am team #CarryOnOnly, but I also like to always be as prepared as possible. You never know when you might find something totally amazing that you have to take home when you’re traveling. So I always have one of these in my suitcase.” Paravel Foldable Travel Duffle Bag, $70, Amazon.
Bath & Shower Oil. “I was reading about how Earth signs—especially Taurus, as it’s ruled by Venus—are all about tactile luxury. I couldn’t agree more. I have long showers daily and I have a delightful assortment of bath and shower items to match my mood. This one smells so calming, feels luxurious and relaxing, and leaves my skin so soft. It’s a powerful thing to start your day with something that feels so decadent.” Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil, $78, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Votary Cleansing Oil. “I’m not the most loyal of beauty product users, but one of the few I do come back to time and time again is the Votary Cleansing Oil. They are a female-founded, U.K.-based company started by an old school friend. I love the old school apothecary style packaging, the clean, simple formulations that smell so good…and work really well on my skin! This cleansing oil removes all makeup, gently, and leaves my skin feeling really soft.” Votary Cleansing Oil, $50.40, Net-A-Porter.
Face Gym. “I tried this out for the first time on a recent trip to London and I loved it! It’s set up like a salon and you choose from a menu of face ‘workouts.’ Then your face gets rolled, pummeled, massaged, and zapped by a variety of handheld devices for 30 minutes. They have salons in a few major international cities, which I highly recommend as it’s such a unique experience that does actually leave your skin glowing. They also have a product line with instructional videos on their website if you can’t go in person.” FaceGym.com.
Chef’s Knife. “I worked in PR in the restaurant industry for a while and that’s where I really learned the value and utility of an excellent knife. Ditch the set of mediocre knives, and spring for one or two excellent knives. I love to cook daily, so excellent, workhorse tools are key! My son and I went to Bernal Cutlery in San Francisco to get some expert advice and they’re so knowledgeable, patient (they expertly handled my curious child), and have an exceptional range. Our K Sabatier Chef’s Knife slices through everything and anything with ease. It has the most beautiful leather cover, which we use as this knife is very sharp! This was technically a gift for my husband, so if you’re looking for something less expected, they make for a great gift too!” K Sabatier Chef’s Knife, $78, Bernal Cutlery.
All Clad d5 Pots and Pans. “These are my everyday go-to pots and pans. I’m hard on my kitchen tools, so I need things that are built to last. These are true worker bees. Sometimes I wash them by hand, sometimes they go in the dishwasher. So far, they have proved impossible to ruin and they’re made of stainless steel, so I have no worries about releasing fumes strong enough to kill birds.” All-Clad d5 Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set, $899.99, Williams Sonoma.
Banana Keeper. “I was introduced to these years ago by a friend and they’re genius! I never have to deal with a squashed banana anywhere in my child’s life again…and trust me, once you’ve had the absolute delight of discovering a completely squashed banana in a backpack, you will find a way to make sure that never, ever happens again.” Banana Saver BPA-Free Travel Case, $16.95, Amazon.
Portable Speaker. “We take music and the bass in Afrobeats (Burna Boy, Wizkid, Asake, Tems, Omah Ley) very seriously. We have a soundbar we love at home, but have cycled through a few different portable speakers that we take when we’re on the move. This one has over 6,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, yet somehow I was still shocked at how powerful and how good the sound quality with this is. A truly excellent portable speaker. We knew we were onto a winner when the gbedu dey enter body…which is a Yoruba phrase popularized by Burna Boy that loosely translates as when you feel the bass inside your body.” Sony SRS-XB33 Extra Bass Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker, $106.73, Amazon.
Local Bookstores. “Books, books, and more books! I’m a lifelong bibliophile and it gives me so much joy to see my son loves reading too. We have a few local bookstores we love, and whenever we travel, we always spend quality time in local bookstores. Every evening, in that sweet spot between getting into bed and falling asleep, he’s adopted my habit of reading for about an hour. He’s currently tearing through the Spy School series and loving them all.”
Sezane Small Wallet. “I used to be a fan of continental wallets and have a beautiful one my Mum gave me. But over the years, with all the walking I do, the bags have shrunk in size, which means the contents needed to shrink too. With the ease of apple pay, I need less in my wallet and this textured card holder is the ideal size for daily use.” Alfredo Coin Case, $55, Sezane.
For more Mother Essentials, peep our recent features on Phoebe Sung of Cold Picnic, Sach Paneer founder Jasleen Kaur, Essential Labor author Angela Garbes, The Mamas author Helena Andrews-Dyer, Olivia J founder Shae Jones, author Brynne Barnes, Tisha Thompson of LYS Beauty, Blueland’s Sarah Paiji Yoo, Heirloom’s Sri Bodanapu, Lady Falcon Coffee Club founder Buffy Maguire, the mama-duo behind Spring & Mulberry chocolate, Dear Bella Creamery co-founder Alice Cherng, designer Becky Hui Chan, author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, ByHeart co-founder Mia Funt, Backdrop founder Natalie Ebel, Oui The People founder & CEO Karen Young, author-illustrator Grace Lin, the co-founders of ODDOBODY, Happy Family Organics’ CEO Anne Laraway, YA author J.Elle, kid-lit authors Karen Chan and Suzanne Greenlaw, the founders of EADEM, and Minimalista author Shira Gill.
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