Have you seen Erni Stollberg? She is the 95-year old Instagram sensation and model for Park, an Austrian concept store. A former dancer for a Jewish dance company in Austria in the 1930s, Erni and her troupe were able to escape to Buenos Aires before Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Her exuberance as a former dancer comes through so vividly in her expressive and full-of-personality Instagram poses. Yes, when I grow up, I want to be like Erni.
A young Erni
Images from vogue.com and @park_wien
With the girls going to two school systems with different vacation weeks, our Spring Break was pretty much limited to five days. And so with that limited time, we decided for a quick getaway in Miami even though we already had spent Spring Break there two years ago. At least with Miami, we did not have to worry about connecting flights, time change or unpredictable weather. Sunny days, entertainment and good food are pretty much guaranteed.
I wish I can say we did all these novel things while in Miami. The reality was that we wanted to enjoy every minute of sitting by the pool and the beach and really not doing much of anything. Our sole outing, apart from eating out, was going to the Perez Art Museum while my biggest accomplishment was finishing two books.
As short as this vacation was, I still feel recharged from putting a quick break from the usual routine. How was your Spring Break?
I never thought we would see spring emerge after the last snowstorm we had in March and the heavy downpour from the last two weeks. Yet almost in a blink of an eye, signs of spring are simply everywhere from the birds chirping in the morning to the crocuses and daffodils blooming everywhere. I love spring, the renewal of life, the longer days, and the warmer temps.
Like the other seasons, spring acts as a milepost that marks where we are in life — another winter under the belt, another summer to look forward to. Yet what’s most prevalent in my mind these days is the unstoppable forward motion of time. Five more years before Chiara goes to college, eight more years before Ines leaves. While a lot can happen during that time frame, I know the remaining time I have with my girls will go fast. Slowly, I’m learning to let them go as they prepare to take off and begin to define themselves in relationships and roles outside our family.
A few weeks ago, Chiara performed with her guitar ensemble at Merkin Hall in the city. It’s the first time that the ensemble played with an orchestra and I must say the whole experience was quite amazing! Not only was the music they created that afternoon rhythmic and melodious but the ensemble members got to see what it was like to play with professional musicians on a renowned concert venue. I can’t sing enough praises for these kids, this guitar ensemble, who had put countless hours of practice yet never once forgot to laugh and have a good time together. So much of what the group has become and now embodies is the result of their guitar teacher’s passionate teaching style and unrelenting dedication to these kids.
Apart from the music, I have to say that my other favorite part of the afternoon is seeing my friends’ children come out to listen and support Chiara. The concert lasted for two hours, a long time for these kids, yet they sat patiently and respectfully while trying to choose which music they liked the most and mimicking the conductor’s moves. It’s this kind of support from friends where I, and I’m sure Chiara as well, feel loved and supported.
Lately it seems that I’m obsessing quite a bit with interiors and home design. While we’re all a little HGTV-obsessed in my household where we critique home layouts like a national sport, I think all the binge-watching has helped refine my vision for what I want in our house. I’m slowly editing, getting rid of things that no longer reflect our aesthetics, and replacing them only with objects and furniture that we love. Personally, this meant getting rid of our old Pottery Barn dining set and replacing it with timeless midcentury dining table and chairs that can be passed down from one generation to the next. I’m done with bulk — all I want are sleek, well-designed chairs and tables in our humble abode.
Going to the Architectural Digest Design Show in the city, courtesy of my favorite artist Hollie Heller, is a bit to blame for my current design obsession as well. Walking through the show and seeing the newest design trends and innovations will make any girl want to redecorate, refine and tweak what she’s got at home. Some of my personal favorites were the light fixtures section along with the art/furniture and kitchen show areas.
…my little helper and partner-in-crime
…Hollie Heller’s booth that showed her newest creations
The last thing that’s fueling my design mania is this blog, www.thesocialitefamily.com, and its recently published book. I literally can spend hours perusing through different posts from this blog and dream of various spaces I can see myself in. Socialite Family’s design philosophy is boho Parisian chic but I think there are certain things that transcend geographical boundaries and work in many places. Check out the site and tell me what you think…