Our Spunky Spitfire Mom on the Street Amanda Hazelwood is changing the world, one book club at a time!
Amanda Hazelwood is a 32-year old mom of Asa and Nick and founder of The Spitfire Club, an extracurricular reading/empowerment program for girls. Originally from a small town in Kentucky, Amanda came to the DMV [that's the DC-Maryland-Virginia area, not the driver's license place!] for undergrad and decided to call Alexandria, VA home. She worked for a decade in various aspects of nonprofit management, fundraising, and strategic planning, but her passion has always been education. Amanda spent nine years in the classroom, including four years as a volunteer and AmeriCorps Member with literacy nonprofit Heads Up, and more than five years leading ESOL classes for members of the immigrant community in DC. Her hobbies include hiking, reading, civic activism and engagement (yes, that's actually a hobby!), baking, and singing in the choir at church.
Which three words best describe your style? Functional, comfortable, and (a little) loud.
What are your favorite places to shop? Loft is really great for extremely short people like myself. I also love to disappear into the women's section at Target for an hour on a Saturday while my kids nap—I'm always pleased and surprised with what I walk away with! They've really stepped up their game and it's totally meeting me where I'm at. I save Anthropologie for when I'm feeling indulgent.
Who’s your favorite style icon? Is it basic to say Audrey Hepburn? It is? Ok. Janelle Monae is pretty high on my list—I love how she blends masculinity and femininity and how she always rocks bold colors and patterns.
What article of clothing would you not want to live without? My husband got me this gorgeous bold scarf — it's a really organic pattern with bright red and orange and pops of bright blue and yellow. I wear it at least once a week during the cold weather months.
Stilettos or flats? You'd think someone who isn't even five feet tall would say heels but I totally own and embrace my lack of verticality. Heels hurt so bad, they're bad for your health (really!) and it's just not worth it!
What’s your best style advice? Find a good seamstress. Clothes just aren't made for my body, no matter what's in style, so this is critical.
Which trend would you want to see make a comeback? This sounds ridiculous but I remember wearing stirrup pants as a kid and loving them. The jelly sandals are already a thing right now, so if we could throw some stirrup pants into the mix, I wouldn't be sad about it.
What should NEVER make a comeback? I'm really short but I don't have a petite frame, so our current tendency toward wearing pillowcases for shirts and dresses isn't great for me. I always end up looking pregnant. I tried to shop at Eileen Fisher one time. Love the idea and it looks great on the models, but this style can go away ASAP and never come back.
What fashion/style did you love at the time, but now cringe when you see old photos? Crispy scrunched hair with straight side-bangs. I rocked that hard in undergrad and looking back, I always think "who thought that was a good idea??" Oh! And heavily lined eyes—like full top and bottom lid. This looks good on no one, inevitably smears, and then you look super tired. No bueno. Also (I could do this all day!) over-tweezed eyebrows. See prom pic circa 2002 for the trifecta...
What’s your best style secret? Saying I have a best style secret implies that I have great style, and I'm not sure I do... BUT! If I had to give away a secret, it would be that I swear by Urban Decay's Naked Skin liquid foundation. I hadn't used it until I had my makeup done on my wedding day and it is pure magic. It's super light-weight, one coat will cover almost anything, and there's some sort of luminescence to it that makes you glow without looking like you have glitter on your face. AND it's cruelty-free/vegan.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? Hiking! Our rescue hound Harlan hates city living and spending a few hours in the woods is great for us, too. The kids are starting to get good at it. Our eldest, Asa, can go about a mile without help at this point.
What’s been your best family vacation? A weekend in Brooklyn doesn't really count as a vacation, but that was a fun way to spend Mother's Day this year. We went to Costa Rica when our eldest was five months old and that was a surprisingly good vacation. They're actually really portable at that age and they sleep so much that a long drive from the beach to the cloud forest is doable. We hiked a volcano, hung out at the beach, visited wind farms. It was great, except for the part where howler monkeys tried to "steal" our baby and a giant bee chased us off of its beach.
Best advice you’ve received: No matter what is hard about parenting right now, it won't be hard forever. Parenting may not ever be easy, but the sleepless nights, the toddler tantrums, the moods, whatever it is—that specific thing won't last forever.
What’s your go-to family dinner? I got very lucky and have kids who aren't picky, but our favorites are either chicken tikka masala or this avocado and bean quesadilla with a sofrito sauce.
What’s your favorite restaurant? Our family spends a lot of time at two local favorites, Stomping Ground and Los Tios. I'm really loving a neighborhood newcomer, Chop Shop Taco, right now. Hopefully, we'll become regulars there, too.
What’s your favorite show to binge watch? We don't have a TV, so binge-watching on Netflix is basically the only way I consume television. I really love The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, The West Wing, and the new Sabrina series. Also, I want GLOW to come back! It's almost been a year without new episodes.
What’s your favorite beach read? I run a reading nonprofit for girls, so most of my beach reads end up being YA novels. Right now I'm reading One Crazy Summer and it is fantastic. I also loved The Girl Who Drank the Moon and The Hate U Give. My latest grown-up read that could qualify as a beach read was A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I think I'm always looking for inspiration and a "spirit lift" when I'm not reading kids' books, so I re-read Rising Strong by Brené Brown every year. I want to be the kind of person who says that Becoming by Michelle Obama changed my life, but the truth is that I haven't had a chance to read it, yet.
What’s the best song to dance to when nobody’s watching? "Taki Taki." I speak enough Spanish to know that I don't want my kids to understand what it says but I'll be darned if it's not a really thumping song. Also, "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus. I may have very, very lightly rear-ended my best friend in college while dancing to that song (she didn't think it was funny). If you could spend a day with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? As a kid, I was always obsessed with Mother Teresa. I did a portrait of her that I'm pretty sure my fifth-grade art teacher stole kept. So I think I'd go with her. What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Bhutan. I really want to experience the happiest place in the world. What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? I usually "unwind" by scrambling to do the dishes and get leftovers put away after my kids go to bed. Then I scroll on social media while drinking (and somehow never finishing) a glass of good red wine until I can't keep my eyes open. I should probably find a new way to unwind.
As Amanda spends her days encouraging young girls to be the confident protagonists of their own stories, we love seeing the way her personal style reflects that message of strength and positivity. She knows herself and knows what's functional—where to shop and what clothing works well for her stature—while simultaneously feeling free to try new things and embrace bold statements.
Let's hope for a touch of Amanda's energy and confidence as she rocks her tailored clothes, raises her boys, and sparks the Spitfire movement. What an inspiration!
And for more stylish and inspiring moms, check out FamilyApp's Mom on the Street Channel!