You know moms like Maria, the ones who always manage to look glamorous when you decided no one would notice if you wore a top bun and workout gear to drop-off every day. And it's not like Maria has time on her hands. No, as co-founder of MINIMODE, the new "it" site for fashionable moms and their kids, Maria is one of the busiest parents we know. By sunrise she will have already meditated, worked out, posted content for her company, oh yeah, showered and gotten make-up on. Her partners in crime for all this are her two minis, Elin and Kaia, whether they're goofing around on MINIMODE fashion shoots, surfing together on the east end, or climbing the rocks at their grandparents' home in Greece. But while she may always be dressed to the nines, her favorite family memories are of being barefoot, casual, and fancy free. We asked her about the family keepsakes that matter most to her and how she creates every day memories with her girls.
1) What's in your Library?
My daughter Kaia's favorite things on earth are her little "stuffies" which she can not sleep without, so one of these will go in her Savor memory box eventually. They're just these mini Beanie Babies and Boos (a cat, bunny, owl, raccoon, and more!) but there are about 8-10 of them total and she's so particular how they sleep in bed with her. She makes sure each is comfy before settling down for the night. For me, that's pure innocence and love - and I want her to hold on to those two things forever although I know she can't. At six and half she's getting so tall and looking so much older but when I go into her room at night and see her snuggling that kitty while she's sleeping, I'm reminded that she's still my baby.
2) When my kids grow up, I want them to remember....
I want them to remember experiences as opposed to things. Our travels together, surfing on the beach in Montauk and spending carefree summers in Greece where my family has a home. Basically all the adventures we take together!
3) My favorite family tradition from growing up is….
Summers in Greece. As soon as school was over we packed up for the entire summer and stayed at our home on a cliffside overlooking the Aegean Sea on an island called Chios. It was pure magic. No rules, no structure - just kids being kids in this small village where everyone knows you and there's no danger in running around with your friends until the sun went down. Picking figs from our trees, eating calamari freshly caught that day and swimming in clear blue waters - all these simple things that added up to so much.
4) A tradition my own family has is....
The first week of August we always do a long girls' weekend Shelter Island at Sunset Beach - just me and my two daughters and my closest friend and her two daughters, who are besties with my girls. It's such a simple life when we're there and it kind of fells like a throwback to when I was a kid. It's just all about the beach, popsicles and running around barefoot - what summer should be all about!
5) Packrat or tosser?
I am such a serial tosser! Maybe too much so. If I think we're going to throw it out six months from now, I just immediately trash it. I don't tend to get sentimental with items so if there is no real use for it, that item is gone!
6) On weekends my family....
In the summer, we always pile into the car and head to the beach! For the rest of the year, we take full advantage of living in New York and hit up all the wonderful things the city has to offer. We live in the West Village so we regularly do Saturday morning breakfasts at The Standard Hotel then let the kids run around on the High Line before it gets crowded.
7) The memento I wish I'd kept was....
I truly can't think of an item I wish I'd kept so I'm going to say that I wish I could remember things I did as a child more vividly. Each June and September we'd go to Montauk for long weekends and I wish I could recall every moment for that time.
8) My favorite photograph is
It's of my daughter Kaia when she was 3 months old and I took her to Palm Beach with my mom. She was such a little spitfire from day one and that pic brings her entire personality to life. She's making this hilarious face and looking directly into the camera with her big blue eyes - it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.
9) The best thing my kid said this week was….
"Mama, is that what you always wanted to be when you grew up?" When I asked what she said "The person that bosses everyone around?" I guess the answer is yes??
10) My favorite family trip was … because…
Our first trip to our house in Greece with the girls. My dad grew up on this small island called Chios and immigrated to the US when he was only 14 years old, so to be able to show my girls where "papou" came from meant the world to me. And needless to say they had the time of their lives!
11) The clothing/outfit I'm most sentimental about is....because...
It's this tiny newborn kimono style onesie from the Japanese brand Makie. It's plain white and so simple and pure looking. I basically bought a half a dozen and Kaia lived in them until she was about 6 months old. So now I connect that with those ridiculously special first few months of being a new mom.
12) The memento that encapsulates my youth is....
My walkman! I was a shy kid and music saved my life. That was my escape and so the yellow Sony walkman came with me everywhere.